The Mighty

Fiction - Fantasy - General
320 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Michael has always been a prisoner to his imagination. His childhood was spent running through the forest, pretending to be a gallant warrior saving the countryside from certain destruction. Or he was a ferocious beast terrorizing the very same countryside. There is always a story spinning through his mind. As an adult, writing has become the only way to keep his head from exploding.

He lives in upstate New York with his loving wife and two cats. If he's not writing, he's likely reading, weightlifting, or forcing his players into difficult situations from behind his Dungeon Master's screen. He is a storyteller first and a writer second

Michael also produces The Introverted Indie Author Podcast

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The Mighty is a stunning opening to the Druid’s Guise series by Michael J Sanford, a book that will entertain and surprise young adults and adult readers alike. Wyatt, a fifteen-year-old kid, is sent to The Shepherd's Crook because he isn’t normal. Everyone thinks he is disturbed, just like most kids at Crook, and this perception of him doesn’t get any better when he claims that he has extraordinary powers. As he struggles to understand his gift and come to terms with his history, Wyatt is suddenly thrust into Hagion, a world where he is recognized for what he is: a legendary Druid. It is interesting to watch how he shifts between different worlds, fighting to set his friends free from those who oppress them, and fine tuning his magical skills.

The Mighty by Michael J Sanford is a powerful book that reiterates the hard truth - our gifts are our crosses because they set us apart and make us outcasts in a society that isn’t yet ready to accept what stands apart as extraordinary. The characters are interesting and readers will be satisfied to see how young Wyatt accepts himself and fights for what he believes. The writing is crisp and the dialogue is very natural and interesting, allowing readers to penetrate the minds of the characters and to feel the action closely. This is one of those books that will be loved by both children and adults, especially fans of the Chronicles of Narnia. The book also has many lessons for young people, including the power of friendship, the miracle of courageously embracing who we are, and a wild quest for adventure that will make them dream of worlds they’ll never know. The Mighty is a satisfying and entertaining read, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in this compelling series.

Melinda Hills

Wyatt the Mighty is a new resident at The Shepherd’s Crook, a secure home for troubled youths, and his strong belief in fantasy doesn’t win him any friends. The Mighty by Michael J. Sanford addresses Wyatt’s hold on reality, but the question becomes what is real as he is magically transported to Hagion where evil Regency soldiers seek an escaped Draygan slave girl. Along with The Children, two odd characters who are eternally happy in their faith in The Mother, Wyatt travels through this amazing world where he is, in fact, a powerful wizard. Back at the Crook, however, Wyatt’s sanity is questioned by the ‘rational’ professionals and his insistence on the existence of Hagion only brings him grief. His only friend, Athena, sticks by Wyatt, though, and together they plan how to navigate the real world of their confinement. As an awkward 15-year-old, as well as a Druid warrior, Wyatt experiences plenty of doubts and must learn more about himself so that he can face reality – whatever that may actually be.

An epic adventure tale mixed with the struggles of a troubled boy make The Mighty by Michael J. Sanford a book worth reading for both teens and adults. With some tough subject matter – mention of rape and slavery as well as battlefield violence – the content may be too intense for younger readers, but the message is still excellent. Wyatt must learn to take stock of his abilities and beliefs and do something positive to help not only himself, but those around him. This is a wonderful story that really does bridge the gap between what reality really is, based on one's perceptions. This novel is thought provoking as well as entertaining and is just the beginning of what should be a fantastic series.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Fifteen-year-old Wyatt isn't crazy, so he isn't sure why he's been sent to The Shepherd's Crook, a facility for disturbed youths. All he knows is that his grandmother will get well soon, and will get him out of this place where he clearly doesn't belong. That is, until a crystal his grandmother gave him transports him to a magical world, filled with strange beings desperate for his help to save them from their enemy, the evil Regency who demands tribute and kills those who refuse to pay. Then he becomes Wyatt the Mighty, a powerful druid sent to save their world. The Mighty, by Michael J. Sanford, takes us through Wyatt's dual worlds between the despair of The Shepherd's Crook to the magic of Hagion.

I believe The Mighty is an excellent book with a wonderful message. I really felt that I identified with Wyatt, even as an adult. We all need a safe place where we can retreat when the world is too much to bear, and I felt that Michael J. Sanford explores the limits of where imagination is helpful and harmful in this book. The question of Wyatt's sanity is a valid one, and it leaves the reader wondering whether Wyatt is processing the loss of his family and the grievous events in his young life in a healthy way, or if he's gone "over the edge." The book isn't just well written with a good plot; it has an excellent theme of processing grief and the hardships of life as well. We all tend to retreat into our own little world when reality is too much to bear, and this book does a great job of shining the spotlight on where we could all use a little guidance, both as kids and adults.