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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
The strange visions started on that fateful summer day when Benjamin McTish locked eyes with a mysterious woman named Mrs. Longpotts in Benjamin McTish and the Door through the Grandfather Tree by June M. Pace. Then, Benjamin found a peculiar looking key, hanging from a very worn and tattered green ribbon, on the rusted nail in the garden shed of his grandparents. Annabel, his neighbor and friend, found a pile of magical maps of Grandlochcheshire in her attic that show the path that leads into the Gilley Forest, to a tremendous tree with a massive door. Benjamin, Annabel, and her sister, Mathilda, concluded that they must find this tree and the secret it holds. Benjamin McTish and the Door through the Grandfather Tree (Book One) by June M. Pace is an adventure fantasy about another realm, an evil queen, magical beings and much more.
The premise is imaginative and the plot is well-thought out. The fascinating and intricate world building combines past and present time, as well as the real and fantasy world. In terms of story development, I found that several events could have unfolded faster. The timeline and narrative transitions were slightly confusing at first and it took me a while to familiarize myself with them. That said, the overall pace of the story is good. The well-defined characters are also part of the story’s strength. I’m particularly fond of Annabel and Mathilda and I’m impressed with the well-written and complex antagonist, Queen Tar Vigorn. Overall, Benjamin McTish and the Door through the Grandfather Tree may seem solely targeted at YA readers, but adult readers can enjoy this intriguing and complex story as well.