Another year has passed since the events of the previous book (nicknamedTower), and the girls are back together for another adventure. This time around, they're going camping with their families and it isn't Odette who takes them to another world, but Merlin! As you could imagine now, "Art" in the title refers to none other than Arthur of Camelot.
In what has been a complete change of pace and scenery for Ladies Samantha and Valerie, instead of being whisked away to the fairy tale land they've been to twice already, Merlin takes them to the Camelot Days. While reading this book, I couldn't help of think of the Merlin from Disney's The Sword in the Stone adaptation (or hear that Arthur's voice). The scenery is totally different, the environment is fresh, and the tone has more of a "legend" feel to it than a cutesy magical story.
As with Tower, this new novel also can stand on its own. The story begins and ends in one book and Bugg does a great job dispelling any confusion new readers may have experienced. It also features a wider gender appeal than the previous two books since the main character (besides the girls) is boy Arthur instead of a princess.
When the girls meet Arthur, he is still a lowly stable boy and in a rut. Merlin wants him to leave Aiden, and that's where the plan is set in motion. Arthur's chivalry takes over and he helps the girls find their way to Camelot, while everything that is supposed to, plays out on the way.
Art features various throwbacks to the original story, and great justice is done to him overall.
I mentioned in my review of Tower that I felt the story was a bit rushed. Not so with Art. The pacing was carried out well and, though I always feel like these books are too short (that's what happens when you are a bit beyond the target demographic), Art isn't missing anything. It's a special book I recommend to all lovers of fantasy and heroism, stories of Camelot and those who like a little romance mixed in with the rest.
The next title in the series is to be called Down the River and Awakening the Rose, meaning it seems we'll be taken back to some of the characters from the first book (nickname: Snow). I'm looking forward to seeing how those will pan out for Sam and Val. It definitely feels like they are facing greater dangers with each book, now that I think about it. But, thankfully, they have a year to grow in between each adventure. They'll be a year's worth of "less helpless" each time they get whisked away to fairy tale land.
Thanks again to Ann T. Bugg and Kathy of IAARNAW for including me in this blog tour and providing me with review copies of these books! It's been a pleasure to read them and I hope some of my readers will also consider picking them up or for any royal kiddos in their lives.
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