Published by Scholastic Australia on November 1st 2014
Genres: Children's Fiction, Fantasy
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld
Tell your lord to beware;
the wolves smell danger in the wind . . .
Wolfhaven Castle has been attacked, and only four escape capture... Tom, trained to scrub pots, not fight; Elanor, the lord's daughter; Sebastian, a knight in training; and Quinn, the witch's apprentice.
Somehow, if they are to save their people, these unlikely heroes must find four magical beasts from legend and awaken the sleeping warriors of the past. But first, they have to make it out of the castle alive...
Best-selling, award-winning storyteller Kate Forsyth weaves battles, beasts and bravery in this epic new five-book series.
The Impossible Quest is a five-part epic fantasy series for middle-grade readers from accomplished Aussie author, Kate Forsyth. Four children escape from Wolfhaven Castle when it is attacked by a neighbouring Lord. They must embark on a quest to wake the sleeping heroes and free the castle, rescuing their families and friends.
As a kid, I went through the fantasy offerings in my school library pretty quickly, from Narnia to The Dark is Rising, and on via these gateway series to harder stuff like Lord of the Rings and the Pern series. I can’t help feeling that if this Impossible Quest series had been around back then, I would have been deeply in love with it as well.
The tropes are all there: a group of adventurers setting off on a quest to save the kingdom, bearing gifts of unknown power from a wise sorceress. Mythical beasts come to their aid and they discover new talents and strengths, as well as firm friendships. It might all sound familiar, but these tropes exist in the first place because they make a really great story! The story is also told in a compelling and accessible way. Splitting the story up into five parts of less than 200 pages each means that younger readers won’t be daunted by a large tome, while still getting the full epic-fantasy-adventure effect (total pages = 940!).
The questing group is made up of two boys and two girls, twelve and thirteen years old, as well as Tom’s trusty wolfhound. Tom is the pot-boy, small but nimble. Quinn is in training to be a witch, and so she knows all about the various trees and plants in the forest and their magical uses. There’s Eleanor, the daughter of Lord Wolfgang: a timid girl to start with, but she soon proves her mettle. And lastly, Sebastian is in training to be a knight, and is the brawn of the group (I keep thinking ‘tank’).
I do recommend having the whole five books to hand when you start reading them, because you’re going to want to know what happens next. There aren’t too many cliffhangers as such, but the story rolls on with full steam. There’s enough of a recap early in each book to remind those who have had a break what is happening, though. Each of the five books addresses a separate part of the riddle, and it all builds up to a marvelous climax in the final book.
The Impossible Quest is a grand story, told by a master storyteller. Get your little readers into fantasy with this series!