This book sounded so promising! An elementary telling of the Piper’s story? But there were several problems with this book that really stood out to me. And ultimately caused me to revoke the stars I wanted to give it.
One was the ease with which the “chosen” magical child discovers and learns to use his magic. It all happens so fast, too easily, with no training, or attempt to grasp at how, or why he has magic. It made for a very uninteresting read.
He also makes the selfless decision to take the curse onto himself, which seemed completely unrealistic to me. He is too young to think about such things. Kids don’t generally become self-aware and start developing those responsible, self-sacrificing behaviors until a bit older.
Another problem was the antagonist. Who was the antagonist? The Piper? The Forest? For me it changed halfway through the book, which leads me to believe that I don’t think Cat Weatherhill knew who the antagonist was. It started out as the Piper, but then he morphed into the victim and the forest became the enemy.
Problem three- Explanation of the forest. Why is the forest evil? Just to create problems? That isn’t a good enough reason for me. And without that crucial part, it made the book less interesting to read. Antagonists should be complex. Not some random mysterious forest who wants to hurt/curse/kill our protagonists just because.
I did love learning about the back story of the Piper, though it was overshadowed by the reasoning of WHY people are not allowed to enter the forest. The Piper was cursed all this time just because he hunted in there? I wish there was more of an actual explanation.
I think this book has the potential to be really great. If it was given another 150-200 pages characters and plot lines could have been developed more. I think this would have greatly increased my liking of the story. As it stands, I give the book a two star rating.