Everyone knows the qualities of a fantasy story: a hero, a dragon, a damsel in distress, an evil wizard, and people who can choose to be helpful or harmful to the hero. However, what happens when the hero is a couple of smidgens higher than useless in a world that he doesn’t know much about?
All that-and more-happens when Matthew Mantrell recites poetry that’s written an old piece of paper in a language that doesn’t exist. And so Matthew gets pulled into a world where reciting poetry performs magic. Since he has also promised Princess Alisande to help win back her kingdom from an evil sorcerer, he has to travel through an unknown land where evil clearly rules.
Her Majesty’s Wizard can be inappropriate for some audiences, especially for kids under 13, because there are some scenes of violence and women that try to take off their clothes. Also, this book goes into depth about the Catholic religion and emphasizes the fact that God exists. On the other hand, no one says any bad words because just saying “Damn” would bring an angel’s wrath upon you.
However, fans of famous historical events, such as the Crusades, might love how Stasheff rewrites history, such as saying that Remus won instead of Romulus. Since there are also magic and dragons, fans of Eragon would like this book, too.
Besides historical references and having relations to other books, Her Majesty’s Wizard is written with:
- Comedy, especially when Matt says something about his world that no one else knows,
- Famous songs and poems, such as Greensleeves,
- And some real life advice about love.
Finally, as an example for love advice, Stasheff writes when Matt meets a girl who doesn’t, “Matt felt his chest puffing out a bit; this was the first time in his life he’d really had a chance to impress a girl! Then he remembered what pride goeth before,” (Stasheff 49).
Whether you’re a history geek or devoted to religion, Her Majesty’s Wizard will capture your heart and always remind of its remarkable characters.
-Megan V., 8th grade