In a rarely explored corner of the Pacific Northwest stands a forested sliver of land steeped in magic that only some can see.
Oldenglen, the first in a new fantasy series for middle-grade readers, introduces Jax, a twelve-year-old city boy from England, forced to move with his parents to a remote part of Oregon. Initially bitter about leaving his life behind, he begins to feel a strange draw to the woods, which only intensifies when he meets Sarah, the granddaughter of the nearest neighbors. Together they begin to unravel the secrets of the glen.
But when invaders threaten the wildwood and its inhabitants, Jax and Sarah―and a most unusual army―must prepare for war.
Great peril has come to Oldenglen, but who and what must Jax and Sarah confront in the battle to save it?
About the Author
Michael Mason, a retired English professor, and Robin Mason are a father-son writing duo. Their first book, Oldenglen, is the start of a middle grade fantasy series inspired by Robin's childhood memory of a lost forested world.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A delightful children's tale! 4.5 out of 5 stars “Oldenglen” by Robin Mason and Michael Mason is the initial story in the ‘Oldenglen Chronicles’ series. It introduces a twelve-year-old boy named Jackson (Jax) who has been relocated to Oregon from England, to his dismay. There are no peers around to play with, so Jax begins to explore the woods around his new home, and finds there is a wealth of new experiences available. His growing connection to his new home becomes threatened, and he will have to muster his newfound allies, including a girl named Sarah, to defend the special glen that is home to so many creatures, great and small, and that still may not be enough. This charming children’s story blends many of the commonplace issues that can challenge a youngster--such as a new home (albeit with the added complication of being in an entirely different country), lack of friends, and an uncertain future with a slowly expanding appreciation of nature and a mystical connection. I love that the animals gradually reveal their hierarchy and true natures, the names they share with Jax are wonderfully appropriate, and the inclusion of the unique names for the group of a particular animal species provides a great resource for discussing new vocabulary words, as does the slang that peppers Jax's language. The climax was a little awkward for me, as the reason behind the major conflict and the resolution didn’t quite gel for me, but that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. There is a wealth of information about nature presented in a very readable and entertaining manner and this book is sure to become a favorite to those who enjoy animal stories such as the ‘Redwall’ series. I think this is a great start to the series and that the tale will appeal to adults and children alike. It is my hope that this will be a long-running series and I will enjoy sharing it with young readers. A copy of this title was provided to me for review
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Oldenglen, Volume One is a young adult and preteen fantasy written by Robin Mason and Michael Mason. Jackson Wolfe is not at all impressed with his parents’ decision to move from the London flat where he’s lived all his life to the woods of southwestern Oregon. As they drive away from the airport and continue travelling on for miles and miles that finally terminate in dirt roads that seem to wind on forever, his previous dismal outlook seems positively sunny compared to how he feels when they finally arrive at the low and sprawling stone house in the middle of nowhere. While his father, who had been raised in the area, prattled on about the age of the house and it having been a summer place for a wealthy family, Jackson wonders what they were trying to do to him anyway. As there was nothing to do, however, and they were hours away from Portland and any signs of civilization, Jackson resigned himself to exploring the acres and acres of woodlands that stretched behind the rental house. He freaked out a bit when he saw a large, furry face with golden eyes contemplating him once, and wondered if the large and unusual paw print he discovered was made by the face’s feet, but somehow the woods and outdoors seemed to get under his skin, to become somewhere he wanted to be or even where he seemed to belong. Robin Mason and Michael Mason’s young adult and preteen fantasy, Oldenglen, Volume One, is a spellbinding and enthralling read set in the virgin forestland of Southwestern Oregon. I loved watching as the city-dweller in Jackson Wolfe woke up to the enchantments of the outdoors. This fantasy is original, and the plot is filled with discoveries, interactions between mankind and wild creatures, and harbingers of a dreadful plot to destroy the Glen. The Masons’ writing is smooth, assured and perfectly matched to the mood and mystery of the story. I’m looking forward to reading Volume Two of this series, and wonder what will happen to Jackson, Sarah and the Glen next. Oldenglen, Volume One is highly recommended for anyone who loves fantasy.