Book Review,  Reviews

The Goblin’s Gift – Conrad Mason

“It’s not the pain that he enjoys. 
It’s the fear.
He straightens his glasses with a thumb and forefinger and inspects the creature squirming on the desk before him. It is pinned to a wooden blocks, wings pierced with Azurmouth steel so that it cannot escape from the darkened cabin. 
A female fairy. Daemonium volans. Deamonspawn.”

Joseph, a half-goblin ex tavern boy, has recently joined The Demon’s Watch. He and his fellow watchmen protect Port Fayt, a town where humans, goblins, fairies and other beings live alongside one another quite happily. Until The League of Light threaten the townsfolk and and sends an armada to wipe it off the map. The League of Light hate non-humans and though Port Fayt want to fight back, they aren’t strong enough. Their only hope is to persuade the merfolk to fight with them, but the merfolk want something in return. The mer-kings daughter was taken and is being kept prisoner in Port Fayt and its up to Joseph and his friend Tabitha to rescue her, and in turn to rescue Port Fayt. 

The Goblin’s Gift is the second in the Tales of Fayt series, I adored the first, The Demon’s Watch, and couldn’t wait to start this one. Just before I read it I was discussing the merits of 9-12 fantasy with a blogger friend and really this is a perfect example of just how good 9-12 fantasy is! With adventure, emotion and one heck of a plot, any kid (or adult) will struggle to put it down! 
The story is brilliant, it picks up right where we left off with The Demon’s Watch and despite it being over a year since I read that first book I didn’t feel like I forgot anything. Any major elements were mentioned to refresh my memory and other things just weren’t as important. It would be easy to pick this book up and read it as a standalone, but it works well as a series too. The reader is thrown straight in with some of The Demon’s Watchmen spying on the League’s armada and then being chased and rescued my merfolk. The deal is struck for Joseph and Tabitha to rescue the Kings daughter early on in the book and they are sent back to Port Fayt whilst the other members are kept captive on an island. Whilst this is happening the leader of The Demon’s Watch, Newt, is trying to get the Governor of Port Fayt to realise that they aren’t ready to go to war. The Governor isn’t swayed by this though and wants to go anyway… it makes to a terrifying start to the book as you are scared for the people and the town but it really makes you want to read on faster! 
The story doesn’t lull anywhere and the pages just kept on turning for me, I couldn’t put the book down and needed to know that one of my favourite fantasy towns was going to be ok! The book is written in a proper ‘story’ like way and you can tell its a perfect bedtime read. The characters are quite surprising really as we learn more and more about some of them, Joseph and Tabitha especially, and I really enjoyed that there was a bit more depth to them in this book. Again the Twins were brilliantly funny, though they didn’t feature as much, and Newt was brilliant… he did what he could to help keep Port Fayt safe and that’s the main thing. 
There’s something of a twist, well actually a couple, in this book which I really enjoyed and the ending has definitely been left open for a third book. I will be interested to see where the tales take us next and I really hope that Joseph achieves what he wants to achieve. Unfortunately there will probably be another year long wait for me to find out but with a series like this, that year wait will be worth it! 
The Goblin’s Gift will be published on April 4th by David Fickling Books, a Random House imprint. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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