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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Evansing: The Heart of the Irish Kingdom is a work of medieval fantasy fiction suitable for all ages by author Glen Klassen. Based loosely on the real history of the unification of the kingdoms of Ireland during the middle of the medieval period, our hero Edwin follows a traditional, almost fairytale-styled path from humble beginnings to royalty, marriage and greatness. Though it has the themes of old epics like Thomas Mallory’s tales of King Arthur, the author gives this rendition a modern twist in terms of dialogue and storytelling style, and the Irish cultural references add a new flavor to an old story. As Edwin overcomes his obstacles to rise and succeed, we travel with him through the unification of a powerful land.
Glen Klassen never attempts to disguise the novel as anything but a moral tale, very much in the style of old British and Irish legends, folklore and fairytales. From that perspective I enjoyed Edwin’s journey very much, for although his progression and the battles he faces are in some ways predictable, they also present important lessons about the personality traits needed for success and the value that we should place on old traditions such as chivalry, kindness and hard work. I think the work would benefit from specifically being directed towards middle school readers, and perhaps younger, as I could see it being enjoyed as a co-reading family experience immensely. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Evansing: The Heart of the Irish Kingdom to parents, guardians and grandparents looking to share an adventure with a special young person.