Now making his home with Arthur in New Camelot, Tom is set to enjoy the tournament Arthur is hosting. But during the tournament both Tom and his friends suffer a series of attacks. The intruders seem to be searching for Tom’s sword, Galatine. When Tom and his friends investigate the attacks, they discover betrayal, curses, and family secrets that have been held for generations.

Tom, Arthur, and the others must battle against overwhelming odds to end the curse and save lives.

Theme of the Book

Galatine’s Curse is a moving tale of friendship, adventure, and courage. Tom, Arthur, and Beansprout are all human, but other characters include witches, djinns, feys, and shapechangers. The story illustrates how friendship among different kinds of people is both possible and important for a fulfilling life.

What I Liked About the Story

Galatine’s Curse is the third book in the series of Tom’s adventures in a parallel world. Tom has become a close friend of the former king, Arthur, and now lives with Arthur in his castle in New Camelot. Ms. Green has shown the imagination to create a consistent and believable parallel world based on Arthurian legend. While there are a number of different kinds of beings, they all share human strengths and weaknesses, and all are united in their friendship for one another.

The book’s opening scene finds Tom being separated from a hunting party and set upon by a pack of wolves. He finds himself up a tree, unsuccessfully shooting arrows at a mysterious figure. Happily, the hunting party finds and rescues him in an example of cooperation that will thread its way through the book. Tom’s age is a mystery (perhaps because I hadn’t read the first two books) but he seems to be an older teenager with the impulsiveness typical of the age. He is generally confident in his abilities to handle whatever life in this new world sends his way.

It is easy to see that the other characters in Galatine’s Curse, especially Arthur, Woodsmoke, and Bloodmoon have their own stories and have been clearly developed in previous books as the reader sees them as established in this novel. Arthur, who seems to be a former king, still behaves as if he were king. He expects obedience and respect and sulks when thwarted. Woodsmoke strikes the reader as the careful older brother while Bloodmoon is more daring and something of an individualist. Merlin, a key character in Arthurian legend, is present as well acting as the wise counselor and master magician.

The female characters of Nemue the witch and Beansprout the trainee witch seem less developed.

There is plenty of action tempered by humor. There is pathos, tension, and adventure. The plot moves quickly and will certainly keep the reader turning pages.

What I Didn’t Like About the Story

As the third volume in the story of Tom and his friendship with Arthur, Galatine’s Curse can be read as a stand-alone novel but the reader will miss many of the references to previous books. This does not hinder enjoyment, but the book would have meant much more if read after the first two and not alone. I felt as if I were joining a well-established group of friends and missing the point of the jokes and stories they all shared. I didn’t know the background of any of the characters and that made some of their choices a bit confusing.

Final Say

Galatine’s Curse is an excellent book for young readers but be warned that readers should certainly read the first two volumes in order to get the most from this one. There is no sex or no bad language, and the violence is that of superheroes against villains.

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