Page 45 Review by Stephen
I fear your trust in others will be your undoing.
So speaks the monocular floating Waystone of the cover and the self-styled Knight of the Forest.
He has observed that young Kerrys most courageous quality is to invest a little kindness and compassion, even in those whom others deem a threat. Its an instinctive act of faith on Kerrys part which so often overrides his well-founded fear. Kerry hopes for the best; the Waystone fears the worst.
FAQ: What more would I fall for if I adore Luke Pearsons HILDA? Answer: Oh, so very much this!
The imagination on display and the spectacle on offer are both phenomenal!
Kerry is racing frantically home through golden fields with a satchel full of medicine to cure his ailing parents, but is lured into a vast and all but impenetrable, shadow-stricken forest by the yellow glow of a girl and the prospect of a desperately needed shortcut. Almost instantly Kerry is lost in its overgrown briar tangles, the spectral girl leaving nothing behind except a hand-held mirror. But its upon helping a screaming snail escape the claws of a ravenous crow that Kerrys woes really begin.
From Andi Watson, the creator of adult fiction THE BOOK TOUR, LITTLE STAR, DUMPED, all-ages GLISTER and so much more, KERRY AND THE KNIGHT OF THE FOREST is a belter of a book. At over 250 full-colour pages before the extra activities in the back, the multiple mysteries at the heart of whats happened to render both this forest and its denizens so very treacherous are given all the room that you could hope for to be explored in their interconnected depths.
Key words: interconnected, mysteries, multiple, heart, treacherous. I dont type these words randomly, you know.
The design is delicious, with angles, shapes, colour, light and long, long shadows providing far more than atmosphere, but narrative cues too, with sudden striking shifts denoting imminent danger.
Birds, spiders, bushes and bats... every beast lurking within is monocular. Thats immediately alien and unsettlingly other because two eyes is the very minimum requirement youll encounter in nature outside Greek Mythology (and its Cyclops wasnt exactly the most endearingly well-behaved host). Until youve attempted to create nuance on the page with anything fewer than two orbs then you might not understand the problems it poses for any artist brave enough to attempt this their juxtaposition, in harmony or otherwise, is everything yet astonishingly Watson wrings maximum narrative expression from every single eye.
But lets cut to chase and get back to the hunt, for Kerrys multiple trials run from tricky navigation, astute observation and ingenious problem solving to close-quarter combat. Far more central to Kerrys success, however, will be the moral choices he makes. Temptations lurk around every corner, and not just for our plucky protagonist.
Now, where did we come in? Ah yes, Kerrys compassion.
You would feed yourself to the wolves if you heard their stomachs rumble.
Some peoples censures, in my experience, are the greatest compliments in the world.