The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia by Ilana Waters is a middle-grade story about standing up for what you believe in. An evil ruler has taken control of Hartlandia, and Stanley and his friend Sophie set out to stop it. Along the way, Stanley meets noble knights, silly professors, and the king of the elves.
The story was fun, and I instantly loved everything about it. I couldn't even tell Stanley was only ten years old until very late in the book; it wasn't childish at all. And even though it obviously has a message, it never felt soap-boxy.
The details were wonderful: the elves are cowards and that's why they keep to themselves when conflict arises; the witches spells are complex and deep poetry; and when people are losing their minds to the control of the evil king you feel as if you are as well.
I wasn't quite emotionally invested, but it was engaging nonetheless. Really a fun and adventure-filled book for young readers.
I received this book from the author for review.