During a recent trip to the library, I spotted this book on a small table with books marked as “Last Chance!” I assumed that this meant the books on the table were about to be removed from circulation if they weren’t borrowed soon. With its attractive, colorful cover, which is a picture of two children swinging from ropes into or over a blazing fire, I thought, “That looks interesting!” so, I borrowed it, in an attempt to save the poor book from being withdrawn.
(or The Demon’s Watch)
By Conrad Mason
Joseph Grubb didn’t have an easy life. He lived with his uncle at the Legless Mermaid, a dingy, little establishment that served the fishermen and travelers of Port Fayt, along with the occasional pirate. Grubb’s uncle treated him very harshly, so when a stocky, old pirate came into the Legless Mermaid one day and offered Grubb a job on his ship, Grubb was tempted to leave Port Fayt once and for all. He had no idea that this chance encounter would change the direction of his life forever.
Port Fayt is a small town in The Middle Islands, half-way between the Old World, where magic and magical creatures once lived freely, and the New World, where magic has been abolished and all creatures that aren’t fully human are thought to be demon spawn. Port Fayt is the middle ground, both geographically and metaphorically. Port Fayt is supposed to be a safe place for humans and non-humans, elves, fairies, trolls, goblins, etc., to live together in peace, and that peace is kept in balance by a little group called the Demon’s Watch. But, all of that is could change if the League of the Light reaches Port Fayt.
The League of the Light believes that all Demon Spawn must be eradicated, both in the Old World and in Port Fayt. Of course, in a twist of irony, they employ a powerful witch and send her to Port Fayt to bring the little town to its doom. How can young Grubb and the rag-tag band of misfits known as the Demon’s Watch stand against such a powerful enemy? Will they be able to stop the witch and save Port Fayt from being destroyed?
The kids and I have spent our evenings together, for the past month or so, reading this story. The kids really enjoyed it! They wanted to rate it five stars! I worked hard to keep it engaging by attempting to voice the characters in a fun and exciting way. I mean, who doesn’t like talking like a pirate?
Arg! Matey! Ye be needin ta be readin with yer kids, if ye ain’t already, ya scallywag!
See what I mean? That was fun, wasn’t it? The kids all said that they really enjoyed this story. I had fun reading it to them. In addition to the pirate voices, it seemed appropriate that some of the characters have Irish accents. A few had English accents. Although my representation of these accents probably wasn’t very good, I had a lot of fun doing it, and the kids enjoyed it.
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Talk Like a Pirate Day
If the countdown above has reached zero, you can simply mark September 19th on your calendar as Talk Like a Pirate Day.
The edition of the book pictured here uses the book’s alternate name: The Demon’s Watch. Other than that, it’s the same book.
Aaarg! The one thing that I didn’t like about this book was the League of the Light. I’m not sure how author Conrad Mason intended this to be interpreted, but it always bothers me when authors think it’s cute to make the “light-side” the bad guys. I feel like there’s a whole can of worms just waiting to be opened here. My fingers are itching to say more, but I don’t think this is the forum for that.
All-in-all, I don’t have a problem with this book. It was a fun adventure story, fun to read, and the kids enjoyed it. Honestly, if the kids are enjoying a story, it urges me to read more of it to them. The more I read to them, the more time we’re spending together, and that is a good thing.
I really encourage you to read with your kids. Not every book is going to be your favorite, but when the kids are engaged, take that as a sign to endure. Just think of the memories you are creating with your kids. One day, they will definitely look back, with fondness, on the time you spent together, adventuring through the pages of a book.
If you don’t have kids, read with your spouse or a significant other. I can still remember reading Timothy Zahn‘s The Green and The Gray with my wife in our first year of marriage (~15 years ago). I don’t remember all of the details of the story, but I do remember sitting on a chair in the kitchen of our first apartment reading the story as Kara prepared a meal. It’s a fond memory of the two of us spending time together enjoying a story.
So, with that said, maybe I’ll check out book two in the Tales of Fayt series. That is after we finish book four in Eric S. Nylund‘s series, The Resisters! I’ll be writing down a few of my thoughts on book three: Titan Base very soon. We just finished it a few days ago, and the kids begged me to start reading book four: Operation Inferno.