The Lost Child’s Quest by James Haddell

A fanciful adventure where finding truth in Arthurian legends leads a young girl to learn about her own identity.

Tia Hemyke is being adopted by the Treveylan family and she feels both nervous and excited at the prospect of having parents and a home of her own. Having been left at Ms. Davidson’s home when she was a baby, Tia has longed for knowledge and identity. All she has is her name, birthday and a set of small unknown treasures in a leather bag and a pendant she never takes off.

Days before the adoption, Tia is pursued by a tall man, Mr Silverman, who is keen to know more about Tia’s past and her treasures. Finding courage and strength, Tia escapes and finds her way home and to safety with the Treveylans.

A thrilling start and one I knew would come back at some point in the story, leaving me on tenterhooks all throughout.

Something that stuck with me throughout the story was a line said by the adventurous and wise head teacher. “‘My greatest desire, though, ‘ she continued, ‘is that while the children are here at my school they’ll undertake a greater quest of exploration and discovery; that they’ll explore their own identity and discover who they truly are. It’s a quest that’ll last a lifetime, but it’s one that is all about the journey , not the destination’”.

I felt this story keenly as though it were not only a journey for Tia, obviously, but also for the reader.

It was such a lovely tale of adoption, finding family and safety but learning about identity. Identity in the form of truth in legends, knowing where you are from and where you belong but also in knowing and understanding yourself.

I read this in two sittings with a pause in between to let James Haddell know I was thoroughly enjoying the story. Having heard how scary it can be to publish your book baby, he was pleased to know it was well received, mentioning he was surprised at how vulnerable it felt to send it into the world. Not to worry James, this historical tale is fantastic and will be a big hit!

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