When this book arrived in the post, my first thought was ‘how beautiful!’ The Seas of Ramion comes as a traditionally bound hardback book in a lovely shade of blue which is embossed with gold to make it really striking. See for yourself:
The second thing which caught my eye was the map inside the cover, I don’t know what it is but I love it when a book has a map. It makes the story much more real to me somehow!
Inside, you will find three stories from the magical ‘Ramion’ series which is filled with witches, dwarves and many other magical creatures. The series is based upon the author, Frank Hinks’ own three children, here is how the books evolved.
The Ramion adventures started with his oldest son Julius giving him the first line of a story at bedtime each night and leaving him to take it over without any idea where it was going. These stories evolved into the books that are now available with his own colour illustrations. He has produced around 500 full page gouache paintings for 16 stories and is now working on story number 17 The Dream Thief in which the boys have to rescue their mother’s dream of being an artist.
The Kingdom of the Deep.
The first story sees Griselda the witch holidaying in Wales, which LV found funny, with plans to eat the three little boys whilst there. Sadly for Griselda things go a little awry and after getting annoyed, she ends up sending the boys to the kingdom of the deep where they meet many creatures.
The Blizzard Wizard
After the Blizzard Wizard gets wrongly freed from prison he turns all of Ramion into ice. The boys have to collect 4 mystical elements whilst trying to avoid some nasty creatures of the forest. When the four elements combine they bind up the Blizzard Wizard and take him back to his cell.
The Body Collector
Griselda’s pet skull Boris misses his body, but can’t remember where he left it! After having a vision, or a dream, he remembers it getting stolen from him by Charlie Stench who collects bodies and turns the heads into evil floating skulls. They visit Stench Castle to get Boris’s body back but of course things don’t go quite as planned!
It’s refreshing to find a book aimed at boys which is a fantasy book whereas most are sport based, specifically football. Although the main characters are boys, girls would equally enjoy the stories too. LM had a read through the first story and thought it was enjoyable and quite quirky, even if she thought it a little young for her. She is 12.
I have to be honest that Frank Hinks’ distinctive illustrative style was a bit bright and bold for my liking, but I am 33 and these stories and pictures are aimed at children aged 7+. LV didn’t mind them, although he is colourblind and many of the colours were indistinguishable from each other which meant he missed some aspects of the images.
LV’s favourite story was The Blizzard Wizard. Being a nine year old his attention span is very limited, unless it involves a video game of course. This story was quite fast paced which moved the story along nicely so he never got bored.
If you would like to order a copy of the Seas of Ramion for your child it is available from Amazon for just £9.99.