Book Review: The Secret History of Tom Trueheart

Tom Trueheart, hero of The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, is the youngest son of an adventurer commonly known as Jack-the-Giant-Killer.  His six older brothers are all strong, brave, experienced adventurers in the Land of Stories.  Tom fears that he will never be like them.

One day, when his brothers are all out on their separate stories, Tom receives a letter from the Story Bureau that his brothers have all gone missing!  As the only Trueheart left, it’s up to Tom to rescue his brothers so they can finish their stories.

Along with a talking crow named Jollity, Tom travels the Land of Stories for clues to this mystery.  Along the way, he meets Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the princess of The Frog Prince— even a giant and the Three Bears!

But finding his brothers won’t be easy, because betrayal comes from within the Story Bureau itself.  Will Tom rescue the other Truehearts or will the stories remain unfinished forever?

I must say that this book had promise– and failed to deliver.  The plot and title were both fine, but the characters were two-dimensional, the setting was often bland, and Ian Beck clearly thought that he needed to dumb his story down so it  would be at a child’s level, which made the story boring to read.  I haven’t read the sequal, Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories, but if it follows in the same style as Secret History, I don’t want to.

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