Series: Paladero #1
Published by Hardie Grant Egmont on July 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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The Knights of Thunder Realm is the first in an epic fantasy series about hope, betrayal, and trying to make a better life for yourself when you’ve come from nothing. It’s also about dinosaurs, which is awesome.
Welcome to Thunder Realm, where cowboy-knights known as paladeros herd dinosaurs during peacetime, and take up arms during war. Joss, a young orphan, has always wanted to be a paladero – but first he must prove himself by going on The Way, a treacherous journey through the kingdom to retrieve a rare Questing Egg.
With his trusty raptor Azof by his side, Joss will face off against witches, bloodthirsty monsters and even his own brethren to learn what it truly means to be a paladero – all while uncovering a dark conspiracy at the heart of the kingdom.
A young hero, riding a dinosaur on an epic quest with three companions in a steampunk world? Yes, this story is as awesome as it sounds!
Joss, a prentice at Round Shield Ranch, accidentally finds himself part of the Paladero Tournament. His confidence manages to land him a place on the Way – a journey with four brethren to retrieve a Quetzalcoatlus egg. If successful, they will take their places as part of the order of Paladeros – the proud order of knights who guard the Thunder Realm.
The characterisation in this story is brilliant, with four teenagers at odds with one another, but forced to work together to complete their quest. Plus, the villains are nasty: just the way I like them.
The Riders of Thunder Realm not only deals with the issues of fitting in and the finding of inner strength that are in most coming-of-age adventures, but also sensitively deals with a transgender character and gently pushes gender equality and conservation messages.
The writing is excellent – even though there were some fairly major info-dumps early on, the rest of the story was character-driven and I was sad to reach the end. I would have devoured this book as a kid, much as I did as an adult!
The Riders of Thunder Realm is the first in a new series, and I can’t wait to see what the new Paladeros get up to next.
Read this book if you enjoy a cracking tale of adventure. It seems to be aimed at teen readers, but readers from any age group will enjoy it. Read it – you won’t regret it!
I received a copy of The Riders of Thunder Realm from Hardie Grant Egmont in exchange for an honest review.