The Toy Sorcerer Reviews
If you like epic, fantasy adventure, you must try this book!
"Narnia meets Alice-In-Wonderland meets Tolkein"
The Toy Sorcerer is a grand epic of a story. If I had to pigeonhole it, I would say it’s Narnia meets Alice-In-Wonderland meets Tolkein. I’m full of admiration for anyone who can pull off such an ambitious project, and Laura Hart has done it very well.
The writing style is accomplished and smooth. The language is extremely rich, meaning I would recommend it to stronger teen readers and adults. At times it surprises the reader by suddenly snapping to graphic depictions of horror or violent events in the dream realm, making it a rollercoaster ride.
The tale switches between Alice in the dream realm and her supporters in the real world, intertwining to an exciting climax. Before that, the heroine has many fantastic adventures courtesy of Laura Hart’s incredible imagination.
If you like epic, fantasy adventure, you must try this book!
A Good Reads Review
..."The Toy Sorcerer is amazing" - Review by Shelley
This is a book that I appreciated rather than enjoyed, kind of how I feel about Shakespeare. The Toy Sorcerer is sure to be a hit with fantasy and fairy tale lovers.
The language in The Toy Sorcerer is amazing. I wanted to get lost in some of the descriptions. I hadn’t encountered some of these words since taking the SAT, GRE, or maybe grad school; therefore, it may be written for an older reader or one with a more advanced vocabulary. It may even be a piece of literature (or sections of it) that could be used in an English class/course. The language is that rich.
There are some very funny and moving sections of the story, but it’s also a very long journey. I found some characters’ sections to be more engrossing than others. The reviews for The Toy Sorcerer have been outstanding. If you enjoy dark fantasy, this is a book for you.
..."witty, sinister, tragic, and superbly engaging" - Susan Mary Malone
The Toy Sorcerer is beautifully crafted; witty, sinister, tragic, and superbly engaging from the first word. Wonderful characters weave through a maze of twists, turns, and brain teasers to keep you guessing throughout. A stunning opening to the trilogy. I simply adore this book!
Bring on book two, ‘The Final Prophecy’.
Susan Mary Malone
This is a charming tale for readers of all ages. A very impressive debut for Laura Hart; I encourage everyone to pick up The Toy Sorcerer – may it captivate and leave you anticipating the next in the series as it did for me.
Fantasy Book Review (UK)
The Toy Sorcerer is the first book of a trilogy aimed at young adult fantasy readers. The main protagonist is Alice, a 14-year-old girl who has suffered a family tragedy and settles in a new house in the country with her father, where she meets Leona, an elderly woman who impresses Alice with her insight and a little magic, for she is a Wiccan. She enlists Alice’s help in rescuing her long-lost apprentice, Magog, who is trapped in the Dream Realms, a place where people go in their dreams, but which is also populated by a tremendous variety of fantastical creatures and characters, including the sorcerer Merlin.
However, Alice becomes trapped in the Dream Realms herself, and subsequently embroiled in an archetypical war between good and evil. Most of the story takes place in the Dream Realms, following Alice’s quest to find and rescue Magog, and her adventures with the unusual creatures she meets and befriends. The story is much more than a fantasy plotline, however; the character of Alice is delineated in a realistic and empathetic way that pulls the reader through the story with her, and when Alice’s journey forces her to face some difficult facts and memories, the reader shares her pain. Alice is a character with psychological depth.
The story itself is engaging and fast-paced, with spots of humour, well-defined characters, and dialogue that sounds very natural. What I enjoyed most was the wonderfully evocative descriptive writing. In this regard, I think the author demonstrated a gift for storytelling that really puts the reader into the heart of the story with the main characters.
It is hard to find faults in this book… I did trip over occasional punctuation errors that another proofreading might have found, and I did find the ending a little unsatisfying as it left the story hanging (though of course this was probably to be expected, and it whets the appetite for the second installment). There is a little swearing also (though nothing gratuitous). These, however, are rather minor, nitpicky things that do not detract from what is a well-written book.
At times I was reminded of the world of Narnia, though the writing style is quite different (and better, in my opinion, than the Narnia books). Overall, I found The Toy Sorcerer very enjoyable and appreciated the author’s descriptive prose and natural dialogue. I think this is a very good read for young adults and adults alike.
"I just loved this book and oh-SOO SUSPENSEFUL!!!"
This book intrigued me for most of the time. I started to really like Alice because of the way that her brother and mother have died, and being crippled, she still doesn’t really argue and she doesn’t give up. This has also occurred when she was in the Dream Realms. Oh, and SHAMMERWACK!! Now, who doesn’t love him? I might not listen to him a whole lot, but he was so loving and caring towards Alice. The whole time Alice was in the realms, it was just more and more adventure for her. I truly loved the different and crazy things going on in the Dream Realms. The totally different characters really amazed me. All in all, this book left me wanting to know more. Hart did a great job with the fantastic writing. I could easily see the Dream Realms in my head! I just loved this book and oh- (view spoiler) SOO SUSPENSEFUL!!!
4 stars Good Read Review
Recommended to Holly by Read it and Reap
Lessons for life wrapped in fantasy - by Patrick Hefford
As an engineer by profession and by nature a fairly down-to-earth realist, if not entirely a skeptic or cynic, fantasy hitherto has not been my genre of choice. Imagination most would tell, you is not my strongest point either. However, I stumbled on rave reviews of Laura’s book and was drawn to read it. Having done so it has opened my eyes to see how fantasy can be so cleverly used, by the right author, to portray some of life’s bitter lessons that we all experience at some time or other.
I am full of admiration of her gifted technique in creating and describing so many strange creatures that one can begin to see quite clearly and then complete the picture by developing the characters of each of them to the point where they become lovable or fearful. (By golly this book would make a great film with all the computer-generated images these afford.)
To begin with, at times, I found it hard to keep pace with all the characters and creatures as they came on the scene, and occasionally, I confess, I had to back-track. However, I soon found myself totally absorbed and gripped by the adventures and terrifying ordeals of Alice’s quest through the ever-changing Dream Realms.
From radio interviews and newspaper articles, I understand that Laura wrote this book some fifteen years ago, shelved it then resurrected it recently. No doubt “The Toy Sorcerer” now has been honed to reflect, between the lines, fifteen more years of her life’s ups and downs.
It is clearly is not a young child’s fairytale as some horrific events are very explicitly described with a modicum of expletives here and there. It is for the older child and adult. A truly excellent book and a triumph as a debut. I commend you to read it.
Hurry up Laura with book two “The Final Prophecy”
Retired Civil Engineer