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David Bush
General Jack and the Battle of the Five Kingdoms
David Bush, author

The times were hopelessly dark. In a green land before time, all animals of the world laboured under the repressive rule of King Roar the lion and the fierce Felines. Miaow, the timid and inconsequential chief of the cats befriends a ten-year-old mysterious explorer, Jack. These two unlikely heroes engage in the impossible struggle for liberty of the repressed animals and self-determination. The conflict reaches its apogee with an epic but disastrous battle. Although the two protagonists were aware that their survival was at stake, little did they know that their enduring friendship would radically alter the destiny of the animal world forever. This bookwill appeal to fans of "The Hobbit" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10


Plot: Bush crafts an immersive, often dark, and highly detailed story of warring animal kingdoms that unfolds in a distinct fantasy realm. With hints of parable, the work offers numerous layers of depth and complexity in addition to reading as pure fantasy.

Prose: The novel’s prose is clear, satisfying, and written in a bold storytelling voice reminiscent of classic works of children’s literature. The writing can at times rely too heavily on exposition, threatening to lose younger readers, but action, dialogue, and conflict effectively enliven the storytelling. The fine graphics also provide welcome visual texture.

Originality: Bush’s worldbuilding is unique, thorough, and dynamic, with precise exploration of the history, rules, and structure governing the society at-hand.

Character/Execution: The animal characters are well conceived, though anthropomorphic traits often overshadow more bestial characteristics. Jack, seemingly wise beyond his years, serves more as a guru from another realm than a fully sympathetic character.

Date Submitted: August 23, 2020