Changeling (The Oddmire #1) by William Ritter
ARC received from the publisher for an honest review.
Publish Date: July 16, 2019
First of all, thank you to the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book and join in on the blog tour! I am newer to the book community so every opportunity like this means so much to me! And also a special thank you to William Ritter for writing this heartwarming and adventurous story that I can’t wait to read more of as the series goes on!
Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.
Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.
We’ve all heard of different stories based off of changelings left behind in place of a stolen human child, but never before have I read one where the goblin messes up so royally and leaves behind both the changeling and the human! This story was so unique and yet also felt like a tale of old that I’ve heard and find comfort in the familiar words. But then again it was like nothing I’ve read before in the characters were all so very original and the setting was pretty dark and eerie for a middle grade novel! I tend to really enjoy the dark and twisted tales though because through those you really can see the true grit of the characters as they discover who they are in the midst of the trials they are put through and what they can accomplish when faced with their biggest fears. I also loved the strong bond of family throughout this book. That no matter where you might come from, or who you were born to, you can still find family in different parts of your life. And that a mother’s love can transcend all else, that nothing can come between a mother and her children whether she gave birth to you or not, there are so many other things that make a mom a true mother. This was such a heartwarming and heartpumping story that I literally read in one sitting because once you start, its nearly impossible to stop!
I think that my favorite part of this book would be the characters. I love that the boys even though they were never meant to be “brothers” have grown up inseperable as twins, but their mother didn’t leave them in the dark about the truth of how they came to be. They have always known the stories that one of them is really a goblin, but never knowing which is which they have both been loved equally and treated equally if not cautiously by the townsfolk. Their mother sees them as both of her sons and even when they both doubt themselves from time to time, she clearly points out that they both have a goblin side, and both have a human side. So therefore she loves them both the same and wouldn’t ever consider either of them not her own. Its a truly wonderful thing to read, especially when so many kids these days are going through such awkward changes in their lives and bodies, to know that your family is always there for you, and that you are loved no matter what is a big message to send across to the youth of today. I think that this part in particular in this book was fantastic and I wouldn’t have thought this strong and heartwarming message could come from a fantasy tale about a changeling child and a goblin horde.
My next favorite character would be sweet Fable! I absolutely loved her naive and innocent view of everything about life. Her lack of tact and knowledge about how the world works was that comedic relief that really added a lighter side to the dark adventure in this book. She was so sweet and just wanted to be a part of something big. To make forever friends, and to travel across the Oddmire were things that she didn’t think she could accomplish but in the course of the book you see her put herself out there whether she was really welcome or not, she made them see her for who she was and how she is also just as important of a person as the two boys. Living in the deep dark woods alone for so long probably takes its toll on a small girl, and I love that by the end, she has finally found her forever friends and the happiness she gets from this warmed my heart beyond belief. She was my favorite and I wanted to give her the world, and I’m happy that she gets a happily ever after.
All in all, this book was such a fun adventure and I think that it can be loved by middle grade readers as well as an older audience as well. There wasn’t a slow moment throughout the entire book and yet, it felt complete from start to finish. There aren’t many books that don’t feel rushed but still keep a fast pace and I’m glad to say that Changeling surpassed my first impressions and was truly a wonderful book to read! It has so much more than you would think at first hidden in the words on the pages. The messages portrayed are so strong and perfect for younger readers to find that confidence in facing their fears and knowing they are loved regardless of where they are from and who they came from. I loved this book and cannot wait for the next in the series. Happy Reading!
If you liked this book:
The Book of Lost Things is so similar in so many ways, with an otherworldy adventure through a dark wood to find out who you are and what matters most to you these books will both have you feeling like you have traveled through the depths of these dark woods along with these young boys as they discover who they are deep down. Dark and eerie with a touch of family and inner growth, these books are both fantastic reads for the young and older alike. I think that The Book of Lost Things is a perfect complimentary read to Changeling and I think that if you enjoyed one then you will feel right at home with the other.
William Ritter is an Oregon author and educator. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.The Oddmireis Ritter’s first series for middle-grade readers. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling, award-winning Jackaby series for young adult readers. Visit him online at rwillritter.wordpress.com and find him on Twitter: @Willothewords.
Buy This Book: Algonquin Young Readers
Author’s Website: William Ritter
Author’s Twitter: @Willothewords
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Algonquin Young Readers Website: algonquinyoungreaders.com
Algonquin Young Readers Twitter: @AlgonquinYR