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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Monster Under the Bed by Chrys Cymri is a thrilling tale of coming-of-age, magic, and fighting the monsters we all must face. Michael has special abilities to perform magic, but he’s terrified of what could happen if he were to lose control. He can do things that nobody else can. He can see things that no one else can. His house speaks to him through images and feelings, always reaching out to him and helping him with his problems. When a mysterious stranger comes to live at his house under the guise of being his uncle, Michael plans to drive the man away. What Michael doesn’t expect is to discover that Jonathon has his own special magic and, as a Soulsearcher, opens Michael’s world to the unexpected. As he discovers a world of dragons, unicorns, and gryphons, Michael must use what he learns about magic and life to control his powers, face his fears, and truly discover himself.
The characters he meets introduce him to various magical cultures which also further the mysterious background of Jonathon. He takes upon the role of mentor and acts as the catalyst for helping Michael understand not just his magic, but the relationship with his parents, what he deserves, and how to treat others. Chrys Cymri presents several themes throughout with a majority of the imagery depicting scenes of dark and light. Darkness is at the root of the story and of Michael’s journey as he’s constantly shrouded in darkness through literal and metaphoric darkness. The house is an important character throughout the story as it has a vibrant personality and an important place in Michael’s magic - it’s the one being in his life that he can rely on without any disappointment. The other important character in his journey is the monster under his bed which embodies fear and darkness throughout the story as a literal and constant presence in Michael’s life that haunts him. It's a constant throughout as Jonathon pushes him at various points to name his monster and face the truth of his fear so to conquer it, which comes as a thrilling conclusion by the end of the story. Pure magic for all ages, The Monster Under the Bed is a gripping coming-of-age journey that brings magic to life through one boy’s struggle to fight his way out of the darkness.