Title: The Talent Seekers
Author: Jemima Pett
Publisher: Princelings Publications, 2013. 168 pages
Source: Smashwords purchase
Humphrey is a guinea pig with no past, and it's not clear if he'll have a future. He's hiding in the woods, trying to figure out how the world works, when he finds himself falling in with other outcasts and loners. At White Horse Castle, he may find what he needs, and where he's needed--if White Horse king Benson can fight off the incursions of Lord Coleman of Castle Deeping. Humphrey has a lot of exciting adventures, and gradually learns who he is and where he belongs, in a tale with a fair amount of bloodshed and a touch of the paranormal (which is starting to look normal in the world of the Princelings).
This book is set in the world of the Princelings of the East, and intersects with just a few places and characters, but stands alone very well. The level of tension and danger is ratcheted up a bit from the other books in the series, leading the author to give it a "PG-13" rating, with which I largely agree (though it is NOTHING like as deadly and dangerous and scarey as, say, the last several Harry Potter books, which are happily devoured by amazingly young children). (There is nothing in the way of what we euphemistically call "adult situations" in the book as far as I recall).
I found the story riveting--it cost me some sleep, as I forged on to find out what happened next. Just exactly what and who Humphrey is, and who and what his enemies may be, unfolded gradually, with just enough clues to keep me jumping. One thing I did find: Humphrey first appears in the Prologue to The Princelings and the Lost City, and I went back and re-read that to get a better grip on what was up with him. It tells us some things that are never directly revealed in this book (so get it and read it too!).
As always the writing is clean and clear and the editing and proof-reading top-notch. The world is well-created and well-presented, and Humphrey is a hero we can all root for.
For all fans of the Princelings, or adventures with a touch of the paranormal, who can handle a little gore.
Full Disclosure: I bought my copy of The Talent Seekers with my own money and of my own volition, and received nothing from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."