Review of T. Ball and the Rise of the Worldspinners by Stephen James Moore
The Stage Is Set
“What’s up, dude? Name’s Hector,” said the offbeat rabbit, his long ears stuffed in a bulging cap.
“I am Tobias Oakwood Ball,” replied the young hedgehog, puffing out his spines.
Newfound friends and future companions, T. Ball and Hector are destined to join the humans, four and two-legged ones, winged ones and the fairy folk who must unite in a titanic struggle of good vs. evil. A malevolent entity has come to the woodlander village of Two Trees, dispatched from the realms of the Worldspinners with a mission to bring darkness to all the worlds.
It is a plan that has been centuries in the making, nothing by accident and unknowing participants in the plot had been carefully chosen. Many times through history they have tried and failed. This time they will enter through the back door by corrupting nature.
There will be a bully called Spike, an overworked wizard named The Great Toothsayer, and an annual hedgehog race that sets everything in motion. Also, there are mobster squirrel gangs called Hoarders and a tyrannical mob boss named Clough Briarthack. Then there’s the Professor, a lost book, hard-working moles and others—but that’s to come in the next book. The story begins now . . .
Who tricked The Great Tooth?
Why must T. Ball find his own special gift?
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Slowly, hot wax trickled down the stem of the burning candle then fell to the ground, narrowly missing an oversized black beetle as it scurried across the dark cave floor into the sanctuary of the shadows. In the farthest chamber of this dimly lit grotto flickered more candles, barely illuminating a small, somewhat insignificant shape. Huddled in the corner was a shadowy figure, and the most unlikely of cave dwellers, a hedgehog. But this was no ordinary hedgehog. Indeed not. This was a venerable hedgehog of mystery, magic, and legend, a mystical magi known as The Great Toothsayer.
Almost two full hours had passed with only the routine scurrying of bugs and rustling of bats punctuated by the rhythmic scratching of the Toothsayer’s quill pen. With furrowed brow and unswerving focus, the mystical magi bent undisturbed over his desk, lost in concentration. Occasionally The Great Toothsayer absently glanced up from his work to monitor signs of activity from the Looking Bowl by his side.
Ancient in origin, the rough-hewn granite vessel had been sculpted for over a thousand years out of the cavern’s solid rock wall by the powerful forces of nature. But the Looking Bowl’s surface had remained as still as a millpond. Now suddenly, the water churned and bubbled, puffs of spectral smoke rose high into the cave’s dark interior. The Great Toothsayer put down his pen and hurried to peer into the stone chalice.
“Sooth! A dis’thaster!” he exclaimed.
Without delay, the venerable one rushed about, gathering his travelling cloak and staff.
This was not a good day for a catastrophe, if ever there was one. His project would have to wait. But so delicate a stage had his experiment reached that he felt forced to take it with him. It was a decision he would live to regret.
“No time to loo’th!” the wizard muttered worriedly as he reached for his bag of emergency herbal preparations. After a few speedily spoken incantations, the giant stone doorway to his sanctuary opened and The Great Toothsayer stepped outside, into the night. There was a sudden gust of wind that fought with the door before it closed behind him. Did he see something, a shadow perhaps, darting by out of the corner of his eye? Did it enter his cave? Time was of the essence; no time to turn back now. In less than two shakes of a hedgehog’s spines, the worried wizard was walking briskly down the moonlit path towards the woodlands. It was a long journey, mostly uneventful except for the occasions when the shadow of an owl crossed the moon. Let us not forget that even wizards are not one hundred percent owl proof.
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This book offered quite a lot. There are many aspects of modern life that are explored through an animal lens, as well as some important messages about the environment, animal cruelty, and bullying. While I found much of the subject matter timely, interesting, and important, the book itself confused me a bit.
My confusion largely has to do with feeling like the blurb didn’t set me up for what was coming. I thought this would involve T. Ball and the Worldspinners more, but there wasn’t too much of that going on. The Worldspinners, for having a prominent place in both the title and description, didn’t seem to hold any importance until very late in the book. As a result, I felt like I was reading with my eyes peeled wide in anticipation that was never realized. This book seems to set up for what the blurb promises, rather than deliver on it.
If I take the dissonance of the blurb and book out of the equation, this was a fun read with lots of interesting characters. It didn’t pull me in as much as I hoped, but I would still definitely recommend giving it a try. Others may feel differently.
About Stephen James Moore
U.K Born Stephen Moore is a writer and accomplished Martial Artist. Lover of literature and ancient history. T. Ball was given in a dream and now his world is alive thanks to the T. Ball book series which covers human, animal and the unseen worlds showing victory through adversity and an incredible adventure through darkness and light. Stephen has also published The Christmas Adventure which shares T. Ball’s world reminding us of the seasonal message.
Stephen James Moore will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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