The Forgotten Crown by James Haddell
Tia Trevelyan’s quest to uncover the secrets of her mysterious past and her connection to a magical hoard of treasure is back on. Beginning at the Tower of London and ending among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, Tia unearths more than she bargained for.
With the help of faithful friend Pasco and larger-than-life sister Meghan, Tia learns more about the circumstances that led to her being left on the doorstep of a children’s home as a baby, and discovers she may be connected to a fascinating medieval treasure that has all but been forgotten.
Will the trio outwit their sinister foes to find the answers they seek?
The Forgotten Crown by James Haddell is the second book in a series that I was lucky enough to be introduced to last year when I reviewed 'The Lost Child'. I loved that book and it was one of my top reads of the year. If you haven't read it, I can highly recommend it.
A second book in a series can be a bit like a second album for a band after a brilliant debut. Will it be as good? Will it disappoint and prove that the first piece of magic was a one hit wonder, a flash in the pan? Well this new book, which is out in December, thankfully does not disappoint. It builds on the magic that was 'The Lost Child' and continues to engage and delight me as the reader.
Although I have to say, I enjoyed it in a different way. The first book delighted me with its warmth and the growing development of Tia as she came to accept her place with her new adopted family. There was magic in the discovery of the character in her new home; and the school, oh what a school! There was the underlying mystery too of who Tia really was and how she was linked to the mysterious objects and the Arthurian legends.
These elements are still present in the Forgotten Crown but the family as a unit are more established now, more familiar, and so that aspect of the story is not as prominent. Instead, the overall mystery of Tia's link to King Arthur becomes more prominent. It is here with its links to history that this aspect of the story explores that I found delight and excitement when reading the book.
I love History; I really enjoy learning about the past, and occasionally a piece of historical fiction will give me a tingle of excitement because it draws me into wanting to find out more about the real history. It makes me want to read around the subject and find out more. The Forgotten Crown had this effect on me. I felt my pulse quicken as I read about the Arthurian legends links to ancient Britain. Especially as I have been to some of the locations covered in the book.
I know very little about this area of history and that is why I found it so exciting. James, with his clear passion for the subject, made it seem so evocative that I wanted to find out more. He clearly has a passion for history himself, something which comes through clearly in both his books so far and this enthusiasm serves to inspire the reader (in this case me).
The story follows on from book one and develops the mystery further, and although I enjoyed the historical aspect of this in particular there are also some great, exciting and magical moments. I especially enjoyed the nod to Harry Potter in the second half of the book. I won't say more but if you know Harry Potter you will spot it.
In a way this book felt like its main role was to set the scene for future tantalising adventures. It is a bit of a railway junction of a book; it is a way point that could lead to all sorts of different destinations. The story has a complete arc and a mystery and adventure are discovered and resolved, leaving me as a reader satisfied but there was also lots of unresolved, loose ends that felt like they are set to be explored more in the future. There were mysteries and threats to the island itself that were introduced but not fully developed and there was the hint of something more to come with one of the grandparents.
This left me with a slight sense of frustration when I got to the end of the book because I wanted to read on and explore these mysteries more. It is a good frustration though because you can guarantee I will be one of the first in the queue once book 3 is ready. I get the sense that this is just the beginning of an epic adventure. I'm not sure where James will take us next as he delves into the mystery of Tia Trevelyan and her link to ancient Britain and King Arthur but I can't wait to find out.
This book is perfect for year 4 (8 years old) and above particularly if the reader loves mystery, adventure and history. I enjoyed it as an adult reader as well, the history and links to legends is really well researched. It is also a great book as a teacher as, just like the first book, there are lots of curriculum links explored at the end of the book.
If you are interested in buying The Forgotten Crown you can buy it here:
It is also available on Amazon but please consider buying directly from the publisher, it will support them as a small independent publisher more and help James more too. Although, if you enjoy the book please also consider writing a short review on Amazon and help it get more of a profile. I recommend you do this with any book you like to help them fight past the plethora of celebrity writer books that currently dominate the market.
James also has a video of himself reading The Lost Child available on YouTube at the moment. If you are interested in watching the link is here: The Lost Child Video