I received an early reviewer's copy from LibraryThing in exchange for a review.
This book consists of 3 short stories. And I would rate it as a 4 stars children short story.
The first one, The Spirit Archer, tells a tale about how a boy with a sick mother found the grave of Robin Hood. Honestly, I can't say I care much for the characters. While Jamie's condition is understandably dire, I find it had to pity a boy who did so little to improve his grades. It's as if he had already made up his mind that he will fail and doesn't mind doing exactly that. His family is in dire need of money yet he still has the cash to take his mother teaoutfor and hangout at a restaurant with his friend... Instead of eating at home and studying. Oh, and why hadn't he or his mum thought of selling their belongings to raise funds? He has a TV at home. All I can say about this short story is that it's every whiny child's dream. In harsher words, I call it unrealistic. It gives children the false impression that someone will come from the sky and help them out of their problems without working hard to help themselves first. The ending, which makes this story sound like it was based on a true story, was rather distasteful. I'd give 1 star for this particular story. ★☆☆☆☆
The second story, campaign of the Gods is somewhat better. This one talks about Norse mythology. The story was action-packed and fast paced, but I felt that the part about Anna was completely unnecessary. I also didn't really like the ending, which doesn't really do anything. I'm not quite sure that I liked the way the "game" was resolved, either. It felt cheap, as if the author had ran his course of "fun" and now simply needed a way to end his story and it didn't matter if it was lame. I'd give this one 3 stars. Maybe 4.5 if I read this back when I was still a kid. ★★★☆☆
The last story, Mark of the Legion, tells the story of an unambitious man who decided to become a monk by way of escaping life... Or at least I would call it escaping life, considering that he wasn't exactly pious. That said, I want to say that there is really nothing wrong with that. We are all entitled to living the way we like and as far as I'm concerned, he's not a criminal and he does not beg. Brother Bentham enjoys his life in the brotherhood, he cherishes the silence he gets while tending to the gardens and he does his job, even when he doesn't like it. In the end, this story alone made reading the entire book worth the trouble, because it was just so good. Brother Bentham has his shortcomings, but he's a responsible and hardworking man and one who is open to suggestions and ideas. I absolutely adore him. And I think that this story delivers some very strong messages about responsibility and never ignoring messages. This one earns 5 stars ★★★★★
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