Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Dungeoneers #1 by John David Anderson

The Dungeoneers (Dungeoneers Series #1)This book was a finalist for the 2015 Cybils Book Award in middle grade speculative fiction. Rather than being punished as a pickpocket, Colm travels to a faraway castle for training as a dungeoneer. Dungeoneers search for treasures that are protected by monsters, traps, and magic spells. Colm, a rogue in training, is teamed with an overzealous warrior named Lena, an incompetent mageling named Quinn, and Serene, a girl able to communicate with animals. He is tutored by a man named Finn in the art of picking locks and all of the other skills needed by rogues. Colm learns quickly, and his leadership guides his team to become the best dungeoneers at the school. They are rewarded with an opportunity to raid an actual dungeon and steal treasure from giant ogres. However, Colm learns the hard way that it's difficult to know who he can trust.

This kind of book is right up my alley, and I really enjoyed it in the end. I like the misfit characters with unusual personalities. Lena is a brave warrior but gets dizzy seeing her own blood, and Quinn stutters, which makes his spells go wacky. Colm is the character holding everyone together, and he cares about his new friends. He enjoyed learning, and he loved the challenge of picking locks. Even though I enjoyed the book, I wasn't sure where the plot was headed. The big conflict wasn't clear until later in the book, although there were small hints along the way. That being said, this book should appeal to adventure lovers, and the climax did not disappoint.

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