Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist, Book One: Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

This slim novel is a treat. R.L. LaFevers is the author of the Theodosia (and the serpents of chaos, etc) novels. Here she presents little Nathaniel Fludd, whose parents are adventurers. He is left at home with his governess Miss Lumpton while they explore the world. To his heartbreak, his parents disappear over the Arctic and he is packed up and sent off to live with Phil A. Fludd.

There is no time to absorb that Phil is his aunt, or that she has a resident dodo. Despite the protests of the smug, superior dodo that Nathaniel is not a proper Fludd and he is not ready for adventure, Phil and Nate board a rickety plane the very next morning. Headed to Arabia, they are to do what Beastologists do, observe and care for seemingly mythical beasts. In this case, they will watch over the nest of a Phoenix who will be reborn from ash very soon.

Their work is complicated by gremlins and Bedoins. Gentle and kind hearted Nathaniel Fludd, who illustrates his adventures with his beloved drawing pad and pencil, does everything he can to fight his fear and live up to the Fludd name.

Kelly Murphy’s pencil drawings are perfect for 10 year old Nathaniel. Some are detailed pen and ink sketches and some are simple line drawings that illuminate the tale and charm the reader.

Visit R.L. LaFever's web site for more about Nathaniel and Theodosia.

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