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Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
The FunGkins: The Battle For Halladon by C. Raymond Gray is a fantastical tale about FunGkins. This is a magical race of beings that for centuries were enslaved by the evil Leprechauns and forced to mine gold, and suffered many hardships, until they were able to escape. Many of them found their way to America by disguising themselves as rats on board the Mayflower. The story begins with Clara and her family in Pirate's Cove. After picking mushrooms in the forest, Clara's father found a really big one and the FunGkins send Jack One, and Jack Two to retrieve it. It is a special mushroom that contains powerful magic the FunGkins need to supply the magic necessary to maintain their realm. As a reward for helping them, Clara and Aunt Tilly get a tour of the Mushroom Valley. Everything seems wonderful until a tall, dark stranger overhears a tale of little people. When he appears on the Gooday's doorstep, they invite him in. Our heroine, Clara, calls her Aunt Tilly. When Clara spies on him with her magic telescope, she becomes terrified, and sends out a warning to the FunGkins.
The author does an amazing job of describing everything in this tale so vividly that you, as the reader, can picture in your mind as if you are actually there. With all of the splendor, magic and wonder that could put Oz to shame, C. Raymond Gray's story telling reminded me instantly of the great J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. What I really liked was how when our villain appears the writing style became lyrical. By the story's end, you are left hanging in suspense for the next installment. The FunGkins is a wondrous, captivating book that can be enjoyed by all ages. All I can say is ... Wow!