Frogspell – CJ Busby

“The day that Max accidently discovered the Frogspell started like any ordinary day in Castle Perilous. He and his sister, Olivia, were having breakfast late, as usual. Olivia had been trying to teach her pet dragon, Adolphus, a new trick, and Max had been making plans for his new spell.”

Max is practising for the Novice’s Spell Making Competition when he accidently comes across Frogspell – a potion that turns him, his sister and his pet rat into frogs. When they discover an anti-dote in one of the most terrifying way possible, for an 11 year old boy anyway, Max makes a safer one and believes this is what will win him the competition. But when they make their way to the Castle where the competition is held and uncover a plot by an evil sorceress they have to think of any way possible that they can stop her plans. But Max is only a novice and the Frogspell couldn’t possibly save him, his friends and some of the most important people in the kingdom could it?

No matter what anyone says about never judging a book by its cover, I still often do. Which is why Frogspell leaped (no pun intended, honest) out at me when I first saw it. I knew as soon as I saw it and as soon as I saw the quote of the front from Diana Wynne Jones, that it would be a brilliant read and that it certainly was!
The story was hilarious, cute, dangerous and lots of fun. I forget sometimes just how much fun delving into a story like this can be and it makes me want to go back to childhood! I loved the sense of adventure and the magic and mischief within the pages. It has the elements of a really well read tale, with danger lurking round every corner and lessons to learn along the way.
The characters were really cute. I think of them all my favourites had to be Ferocious for his sarcasm and Adolphus for his pure pea-brainness! Haha I would love a Dragon as a pet and Adolphus really came across as a big friendly dog that can breathe fire and fly! Olivia was pretty kick ass for a little girl too, her age wasn’t actually revealed , other than being younger than Max, but I reckon she’s only a year or so younger. Max was ok, I preferred the others but I reckon he might grow on me in the next book!
Everything about Frogspell was perfect for kids of around 7-10. I think it’s a little young for those older than that but still worth a read. It’s really cute and the trill of the adventure really comes out at you. Its only 158 pages and the font is really quite big so it’s a very quick read, I read it within two hours at the most and that was with breaks! However like I say, it’s a great story and packs everything into this small space really well. I really can’t wait to read the next in the series!!
Frogspell the first book from what I believe will be a very promising children’s author. It was published in September 2011 by Templar Publishing. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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