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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
Aethelred and the Wand of Woe is a fantasy by Roy Sakelson. Prince Aethelred and his family explore a mysterious island on their voyage to The Moaning Isles. He touches large glowing stones and disappears into a portal. Aethelred grabs a wand he sees and his action frees snakes from a spell. They tell him the wand is powerful and return Aethelred to his family. He hides the wand’s secrets from his family, but performs a questionable act when their ship is attacked by a serpent. Aethelred disobeys his parents and uses the wand again. His selfish actions endanger his sister, Gwendolyn, and pet dragon, Kindle, when they encounter another monster before being captured by mermidians who live in fear. Gwendolyn sees a negative change in Aethelred and blames the wand, but he's convinced she's jealous after he listens to the snakes.
Aethelred and the Wand of Woe is an exciting adventure preteens will enjoy. Roy Sakelson weaves a wonderful tale that will take readers on a fast paced journey filled with lots of intriguing drama in a creatively developed plot. He caught my attention from the first page with his clear, descriptive writing. The visuals emitting from the story are terrific, especially the underwater scenarios. The author’s characters are interesting ones, and he’s successful in bringing out their personalities. Aethelred has the attributes of an insecure boy who wants to prove he's fearless, even if it means going against the wishes of others. This is an entertaining novel I'd recommend.