Impossible Quest: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle by Kate Forsyth

Impossible Quest: Escape from Wolfhaven CastleA review by Nalini Haynes

To be released in September 2014.

Although The Impossible Quest sounds like something from Moffat-ized Doctor Who, it’s a new original fantasy series by Kate Forsyth aimed at children with protagonists aged 11–13. A fantasy story in the classic style, Escape from Wolfhaven Castle delves into issues of class and gender while developing the identities of the young protagonists.

Tom, a pot-boy (kitchen hand), meets a wild man in the forest while collecting mushrooms – not the magic kind – for his mum, the cook. The wild man tells Tom to give the lord of the castle a warning. During Tom’s attempts to deliver the warning, we’re introduced to life in the castle and the rest of the future ‘gang of four’ who set out on the impossible quest: Elanor, the Lord’s daughter; Sebastian, a squire training to be a knight; and Quinn, a barefoot witch apprentice.

An attack on the castle precipitates the action uniting our disparate group. The elder witch gifts the team with magical objects – just like Father Christmas in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – before sending them on their way.

Inexperienced and full of assumptions of entitlement born of their positions in life, this group must overcome their prejudices and work together for the greater good.

Escape from Wolfhaven Castle is part one in a 5 part series for children, introducing children to the hero’s journey fantasy-style but with added depth thanks to Kate’s predilection for delving into social issues. Not only is the book a cracking read for a primary school aged audience, but there is a game, an Impossible Quest IQ test, competitions and other cool stuff online. I highly recommend The Impossible Quest: Escape from Wolfhaven Castle for children of all genders.

ISBN: 9781743624067
ISBN-10: 1743624069
Audience: Children
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5