A boy discovers his destiny could totally stink in this riotously funny fantasy-adventure
Risk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He’s got a friend–that’s right, just one–at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad (even if he is obsessed with organic soaps that smell like a mix of salted pork and Icelandic bog). The problem is, Greg isn’t ordinary . . . he’s actually an honest-to-goodness, fantastical Dwarf!
He discovers the truth the day his dad brings home a gross new tea–one that awakens bizarre abilities in Greg. Then a murderous Bro-Troll kidnaps his dad and Greg is whisked away to the Underground, where Dwarves have lived for centuries right beneath the streets of Chicago.
With the help of some awesome new friends and a talking ax, Greg learns all about the history of the Dwarves, which has been marked with tales of epic failure since the dawn of time. However, the return of the magic they once wielded means big changes are afoot, escalating tensions with the Dwarves’ sworn enemy: the Elves.
Brimming with humor and action, Chris Rylander’s The Legend of Greg turns dwarf lore on its head, delivering an adventure readers won’t be able to resist.
This is definitely the next Percy Jackson. I was starting to read this book, but immediately I fell in love with Greg. He is relatable to most pre-teens. Even though his dad has some quirks, he secretly loves those quirks and has a great relationship with him. Edwin is his best friend who is considered to be “perfect”, but he loves being able to be with Greg because it allows him to just be himself. His friends expect him to love sports, but he secretly loves chess and bad puns even more. A good portion of the book is spent explaining their friendship, which was important in my opinion. Middle schoolers sometimes try to be “perfect” and live up to what their friends expect. Greg is imperfect and has a quirky father, but he accepts this fact and doesn’t try to constantly change himself. He doesn’t have to wear a mask, because no one expects anything from him. Edwin is “perfect,” but because of this, his popular friends expect him to act a certain way. He likes being able to take off the mask with Greg.
Back on track to the Dwarf story. It actually takes a bit of time before Greg is fully thrown into the main plot of “Yer a Dwarf!” This was important to me because it gave me the chance to see who he was as a person before he is given his powers. After he is told the truth about his heritage, he is thrown into the Underground, the world of Dwarves beneath Chicago.
This is really where the world-building comes into play. It wasn’t amazing world-building as some things were just not described. For example, I could not easily visualize where Greg was when he was in the Underground. However, this is a middle-grade book. Most of these books contain little to no description of what isn’t action. I wasn’t drawn out of the book or bored, so this didn’t affect the quality of the book. However, if you are into heavy scenic worldbuilding, this might not be the story for you. If you are here for the building of the history of the world, this book will not disappoint you. You will receive knowledge of Dwarven history, just as Greg learns it from the adults in the Underground. I found this method of storytelling to draw me into the story better than Greg just stumbling upon random tidbits and facts because it gave the Dwarven community more of a family feel.
I won’t spoil anything, but I have to say that I was shocked when Elves were included in the story. It felt like everything changed, and I could relate it to things currently going on in the world that Middle-Grade readers might be exposed to.
The plot of this story is not slow by any means, but I did feel myself becoming connected with Greg and everyone he encountered along his journey. This is not a simple book just for middle schoolers, I found myself enjoying it as a mostly YA/NA reader!
This book did not have any editing or formatting errors that I noticed even though I was reading an advance version. I would assume that your current copies will also be as spotless as mine!
Get ready to be sucked into a world full of Dwarves, magic, Elves, and other creatures in Rylander’s new story: The Legend of Greg!
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new Middle Grade/YA fantasy novel with unique characters, action-packed scenes, and meaningful storyline.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall saga and the Codename Conspiracy series. A fan of chocolate, chips, and chocolate chips, he lives in Chicago.