December 10, 2018
I dove into this one with an open mind, seeing it was a juvenile story, and not the niche I most extensively read, but knowing that my kids will be looking for something new to read soon, I’ve been eager to get to know the world of juvenile literature better. In Oric and the Alchemist’s Key, the main characters are 14 or 15-year old Oric (he’s not sure because of his past), his mentor, old Itcheus, and a cast of diverse characters, some of them about Oric’s age, give or take a few years. The quest is about the mysterious, possibly dangerous key that Oric receives from the man who looked after him before tragically passing away. But there is someone else after the key, too…
The characters each had their unique, distinctly drawn out personalities, with the evil ones unambiguously evil, as suits a juvenile adventure (there was actually quite a lot of violence, in fact, but I guess that sits with the niche and trends today). This is a harsh world with few comforts and luxuries, but people rely on each other and try to take joy in everyday life and make merry where ever there is an occasion. On a side note, it was a nice surprise to find this was in omnipotent narrative, as at least for me, it was refreshing, for a change.
So, well written, and especially, well structured, story with lots and lots of little twists and turns in the plot. Some subplots brought light to the daily dealings of side characters, making this an interesting read. Because of the harshness of this world, I might not recommend this to the most sensitive pre-teens, but for kids looking for a gripping albeit dark adventure, well recommended.