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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In a dark kingdom ruled by a merciless leader, King Roar, and his fierce, bloodthirsty felines, the five animal kingdoms live in fear and battle to survive. In General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms by David Bush, when a young ten-year-old boy named Jack arrives from another land, he shows the animals that if they came together as one, they could easily defeat King Roar. Together, Jack and Miaow, the modest head of the cats, plan their deadly mission; to defeat the seemingly undefeatable. As the war against their enemy comes ever closer, can they truly unite the animal kingdom and bring about their freedom? Jack and Miaow realize that they have only one chance at victory and if they do not succeed they will be finished forever. But little do they realize that their friendship will last an eternity and change the animal kingdom completely.
On the surface, General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms by David Bush seems like an exciting adventure story and the friendship between a young boy and a timid tabby cat, but the plot is multi-layered and has so many life lessons entwined throughout. Jack, who becomes General Jack, teaches the animal kingdom that by coming together and using their unique talents, they are a force to be reckoned with. Anything can be achieved, even the seemingly impossible if you believe it to be so. The build-up to the battle scenes was amazing and filled with brilliant tension, especially when General Jack and King Roar come face to face. The friendship between Jack and Miaow was one of the finest relationships I have read in a long time and there are some quite heartbreaking scenes between them. The plot encompasses not only life lessons but also political and social topics too. The storyline reminded me a lot of Animal Farm. The author has created a most wonderful story with strong and realistic characters that you genuinely care about. The ending is spectacular and reminds us that life goes on and why it is important to leave your mark for future generations.