Review: Mossbelly MacFearsome and the Dwarves of Doom by Alex Gardiner
Mossbelly MacFearsome is a dwarf warrior on a mission. His nemesis, Leatherhead Barnstorm, has stolen the Doomstone Sword and is planning to use it to bring about the end of the human race.
It’s up to Moss and his recently elected Destroyer, Roger – an ordinary boy who meets Moss on his way to get beaten up by a bully, impressing the dwarf with his ‘bravery’ in facing someone tougher than he – to save the day (and hopefully avoid getting grounded in the process…)
As this is the first book in a new series for children (the second book, Mossbelly MacFearsome and the Goblin Army, slated for release at the beginning of September) I wasn’t surprised that some aspects of the story were rather clunky. Establishing the lore of the world (introducing Moss and the dwarves, the Witchwatchers and Warlockwatchers, and goblins, ogres and dragons, too) causes the pace to suffer, the amount of exposition making it hard to keep track of the plot at times.
However, that’s both a negative and a positive thing. Although it makes the book feel a bit too long, it also proves Alex Gardiner has done a lot of world-building and has crafted this with potential for expansion in mind. The attention to detail shows Gardiner is invested in the story and the characters, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there are quite a few installments in the Mossbelly MacFearsome series to come.
There’s even a bonus chapter at the end of the book featuring a fairy tale which is referenced regularly throughout the story, making you feel even more involved in the world.
I read Mossbelly MacFearsome out loud to my partner and daughter, and had much joy trying to embody the various members of the gang. This book is a perfect bedtime story, as there are lots of made up words that will get children giggling, but it also features a few difficult terms that will help expand your child’s vocabulary.
If you’re looking for a series for your child which will be fun for you and them, give Mossbelly MacFearsome a try.