This is a fantasy taking place in an alternative world where magic works, a bit reminiscent of Lion, Wardrobe, Lord of the Rings but still unique.
Elliot is bullied due to his perceived physical differences and his diffident behavior. He finds himself swirled into a different place forced to stand up for both himself and others.
Dr. Smith does a nice job portraying a rather normal kid thrust into some terrifying situations. He doesn’t portray a cardboard hero stepping up and making an instantaneous transformation into a stalwart swashbuckler. Both Elliot and his Gimlet pals meet some terrifying and colorful characters in their journeys. None of the characters are omnipotent, even the bad guys, mistakes are made by all. This provides a smidgen of realism that often is lacking in fantasies.
In some ways this is a fantastical coming of age story and in others just an entertaining read.
I enjoyed it.Body of work of Robert Louis Smith