James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by Colm McElwain

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

James Clyde and the Diamonds of OrchestraAn exciting adventure in fantasy reading for tweens, Colm McElwain’s, James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra, brings readers along on a heroic young man’s journey into the enchanted land of Zara, a world imbued with sorcery, diamonds, evil beings, bravery and for James, self- discovery.

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11 year old James Clyde is an orphan, he has an affable nature, but is no stranger to odd or harsh circumstances. Adopted by the seemingly overly strict Anne Brown, James and his other adopted siblings Ben and Mary live together struggling for comfort. However, despite circumstances, there is one ray of solace for the kids, and that is their visits with Wilmore, Jame’s grandfather. Wilmore’s house is a palatial estate that holds comfort, affection, and for James holds much, much more. For James it holds the key to a legacy of magical diamonds, super powers, kingship and self-realization.

James’ adventure begins, one ominous day when he receives puzzling information about himself, after an abrupt encounter with a rather odd psychic. James, a naturally modest young man finds the psychic’s information fascinating but also unbelievable. That is unbelievable, until further revealing and harrowing events take place sending James and his adopted siblings on the run for their lives towards the adventure of their lives.

Altogether, I absolutely enjoyed James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra. Author McElwain portrayed an entertaining tale with a fluent writing style, that combined all the right elements to make an appealing fantasy read. Overall the story was imaginative, flowed well and was action-packed. I particularly liked the well-written fight scenes. Also, I found the characters likable, especially James, whose bravado and humility made him a great character to see mature. I recommend James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra. It was a rousing fantasy read.

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