By Author / Illustrator
Bex Hogan, Hannah McCaffery
Paperback / softback
A fun-filled fantasy quest starring an unforgettable new hero: Bronte Tempestra! Bronte Tempestra of the Storm Kingdom is taking charge of her own destiny - she will be the first ever princess to become a knight!
But knight school isn't the fun-filled adventure Bronte is expecting - the knights don't seem interested in saving . . . anything. And when she discovers that the Lightning Steeds have gone missing, leaving the Thunder Trolls to wreak havoc across the lands, she knows it's her moment to prove just how brave a princess can be.
Bronte must face down pompous griffin lords and bare-bottomed cloud-stealing gnomes, monstrous horrorflies and spooky zombits. The future of the entire kingdom is at stake! It's time for the princess to rescue the knights!
The first book in a new fantasy series for readers aged 7 and up, packed with illustrations. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Grey and Witch Wars.
Bronte always wanted to be a Knight but knight school did not allow girls in - until this year! The book begins with Bronte writing letters to her best friend hoping her parents the king and queen will let her go to knight school or will she need to go back to the school for princesses.?
Bronte Tempestra and the Lightning Steeds is a fun filled novel about a girl with a dream. As with all dreams things don't always go the way they should. The boys at the school are rude and mean. The teachers are not what she thought they would be. Can Bronte overcome this?
A book full of laughs, friendships and dreaming big dreams. A great book for a school book corner bookshelf. The kids will all want to read it.
224 pages / Reviewed by Jen Bevan
Suggested Reading Age 7+
Bronte Tempestra and the Lightning Steeds by Bex Hogan is the first title in a new chapter book series about a nine year-old princess who is desperate to become a knight.
When Sir Sebastian's School for Squires finally opens its doors to girls, Bronte's dreams come true - but will becoming a knight be everything she imagined and wished it to be? As strange things start happening, Bronte must use her knightly skills of bravery, determination, curiosity, and sense of responsibility for her kingdom to try to not just solve the mysteries but actually save the world.
With plenty of older brothers waiting in line to inherit the kingdom, Bronte is fed up of being a "pointless princess", especially having to go to the 'Palace for Obedient and Outstanding Princesses' School. She has always admired the legendary Sir Sebastian, a very famous knight, but as she settles into the school named after him, she begins to realise that being a knight today is very different from what it was in his time. However, Bronte is determined to be the knight she wants to be and as such, she is the only person to notice all of the unusual things happening around her and piece it all together, discovering multiple threats to the world. Despite her worries and questions being dismissed by others, she perseveres even to the extent of putting her own life in danger.
The first chapter is engaging as it's a series of correspondence between Bronte and her best friend, allowing the reader to develop an understanding and connection to Bronte. The plot seems quite rushed but there are plenty of school story genre conventions to enjoy such as a heroine who doesn't fit in, an evil scientist, an inspirational teacher, and a comedic sidekick. I really like the maps at the beginning of the book showing both the wider world that Bronte inhabits but also specifically her school campus. There is something about cartography in a children's book which is appealing, reminding me of well-loved books like Milly Molly Mandy and Brambly Hedge.
I hope in further instalments the Bronte's world which is showcased in these maps will be focused on in greater detail. Bronte is an endearing and inspiring character and I hope as the series progresses, she and the stories develop more as I found this first instalment to be quite lacking in depth. There was lots of promise but it never quite got there, especially in the final confrontation between Bronte and the evil scientist who is at the root of all the problems. Bronte is able to disappointingly overcome his dangerous and dastardly actions by the simple press of a button and pull of a lever on his sinister machine. He simply states "I didn't know you had seen that", referring to the labels on the machine.
Despite its flaws, though, I think there is a lot to enjoy in this new series, especially the charming protagonist, intriguing world of Everdale and all of its individual kingdoms, and fantastical creatures such as the Lightning Steeds and Thunder Trolls.
224 pages / Reviewed by Natalie McChrystal Plimmer, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 7+