This is a great book for young readers and is full of wonder. It’s set in a magical Earth in which an evil nightmare Lord Pitch, arch-nemesis of the benevolent Man in the Moon, escapes his ancient bonds and sets out to invade the dreams of all of Earth’s children. In his way stand the old wizard Ombric Shalazar, his former-bandit-turned-apprentice Nicholas St. North, their mechanical djinni and the girl Katherine. Along the way we encounter a mysterious spectral boy, moon-obsessed Himalayan lamas, domesticated bears, fighting trees and a troop of speargun-armed Yetis, all in a sort of quasi-Russian mashup of real Earth folklore and tradition.
The story is fun and whimsical, the setting is enchanting and the language is appropriate for the attended age group. Those virtues carry the story despite some features of the book that are a little odd for a middle reader. In particular, the heroes’ quest only materializes two-thirds of the way into the story, which is also when we first start seeing anything resembling a child protagonist.
My grandson is only in kindergarten and has been reading the story to me with some difficulty with some of the words, however he is enjoying the book and asks daily to read it to his younger brother, it is engaging for him so I would Highly recommend this book.