a modern, gender swapped, King Arthur tale | The Book Knights by J.G. McKenney

“The book is my shield. The pen is my sword. The ink is my blood.”



Edition: Paperback

Publishing Date: June 5, 2018 (Netgalley) // July 5, 2018 (Goodreads)

Publisher: Victory Editing Netgalley Co-Op

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Middle Grade

ISBN: 9780987682376

Goodreads Rating: 3.9

My Rating: 2.80


When her parents are condemned to death by Morgan Fay for the crime of reading, Arti Penderhagen becomes a fugitive. Hunted by Mordred, the sadistic police captain who recites poetry to enhance his physical strength, Arti escapes to the Isle of Avalon, a sanctuary for outlaws. There she meets an old librarian named Merl who tells her about the Grail Tome, an ancient book in Morgan Fay’s possession that can alter the course of history. Can Arti steal the book in time to save her family?

THE BOOK KNIGHTS is a fantasy adventure in which knights wield words as weapons, librarians are wizards, and books can change the future.




~ I have honestly no idea why this book is being tagged as Young Adult fantasy when it is very clearly stated that it is Middle Grade, even reading it you’ll come to realize it’s Middle Grade. I expected a medieval YA fantasy going into this book and I was a bit disappointed to be misled. ANYWAYS… let’s start.


The story follows our main character Arti as she goes on a journey to acquire this book that she believes would save her family. It generally focuses on the magic that books have inside of them (woah!), trust, family and friendship. It had a medieval feel due to it being based of King Arthur, but it did have a modern twist to it.



~ reading was a huge deal in the story which was a very unique addition this story that has been retold too many times. I really liked this theme of the book in general because of how it could be etched into the minds of the children who would get to read this book. It may stick with them as they grow older. Reading is a habit that should be acquired as a child and taken with them as they develop and learn.


though this book was not able to establish a strong foundation in terms of fantasy, there are still a lot of things to enjoy as the story progressed.


“bad things happen for you to appreciate the good things”

  • even though I believe this moral to my core, it has started to become a staple sometimes and I am fairly tired of it
  • it focused too much on the reading part of the story and less on the adventure
  • if reading was suppose to be sort of the sub plot, the author seemed to put too much attention on the fact that reading was this really rare thing and less on the fact that they were trying to save Arti’s family adn that they were in a race against time
  • the plot didn’t wow me
  • the ending was VERY similar to the ending of another book that i have ever read (i’d rather not say)


~ it was straight to the point for the most part. I did realize later on that maybe this was because of the fact it was written for middle grade and not YA fantasy. 

~ the changes in perspectives confused me and some phrases were written in a different language but there was no translation as to what it meant so I was just left there wondering like “???”


~ But I like how the author was able to express the magic there is in reading, the power that letters and words have over us.



~ the characters were not made out to be the stereotypical pretty heroine that we see a lot. They had their own flaws that were acknowledged.

~ there were some inconsistencies regarding the personalities of the characters which bothered me. I think this was more in the writing. And although they were not all stereotypical, for me, they lacked depth.


~ it really showcased how there are endless possibilities in books and how you books can create its own worlds in your head. This is the very first book that I have read that revolved around that idea and it was a great idea. I just think that it could have had a better execution

~ i like the medieval vibe it gave off and was one of the books redeeming qualities. It was evident in the parts where it needed to be.


The first thing that I loved about this book was how it focused on the magic in books. For little kids to read about something like that, it was a delightful addition to learn from. It was thought-provoking but i just did not enjoy the subplots. It was fast-paced in a way that was not enjoyable for me, and I like fast-paced plots.

This is more of a “it’s not you it’s me” thing. Not that this book was bad because it had some thoght lessons and it, generally, it had a good idea and was good if you thought about sections of it individually. I just did not enjoy it as a whole.

There was too much going on and although I usually like that kind of story, I could not get myself to be interested enough. Though the plot did have a very interesting idea when you hear about it.

This may have potential if this book is in your type of reads.


As I always say, it is hard to establish a complex fantasy in one book, that’s why they are mostly written in a series. too many things were happening at once for me to appreciate everything. I think this is something Middle Grade readers should give a chance and I think this book should be given to children to try out.

Although I did not enjoy it as much as I expected, there are still lessons to be learned.





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