Select one of the keywords
The Mask Wearer: Amos Daragon    by Bryan Perro order for
Mask Wearer
by Bryan Perro
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's an action-packed adventure series suitable for middle school readers - Bryan Perro's Amos Daragon, the first of twelve episodes being The Mask Wearer (translated from the French by Y. Maudet). What I liked about this young hero is that he gets by with brain more often than brawn, typically outwitting his many adversaries.

The series is based on four masks of power (earth, air, fire and water) 'given to a few human beings who possessed tremendous courage and spirit' in order to restore the balance between good and evil. Of course, Amos Daragon is one of the chosen. He's born in Omain, the child of craftspeople, exploited by the lord of the realm to slave for him in order to pay off a debt they incurred in error. Amos grows up in poverty, hunting and fishing to help his family survive.

One day Amos meets a dying mermaid princess. She tasks him with taking a white stone to Gwenfadrille in the Tarkasis woods and telling her that he is the chosen mask wearer. That meeting launches Amos and his parents on a series of wild adventures - after Amos cleverly dupes the greedy local lord into funding his quest and supplying it with horses.

Amos and his parents journey through villages of ensorcelled folk (all turned to stone) to Bratel-la-Grande. There, Amos befriends a knight and also a humanimal - Beorf can take bear form. Amos saves Beorf from being burned for witchcraft and earns his help in return. They meet a druid and a cat who is 'sometimes blind and sometimes not'. After they separate, Beorf is tricked by a lovely young gorgon, who later regrets it.

Amos encounters and aids an aged storyteller whose childhood was stolen, and is later helped by him in return. In the woods of Tarkasis, the druid and a great council of fairies give him a crystal mask of air, which moulds itself to his face. He returns, with unexpected resources, to face the evil sorceror, Naga, who has taken over Bratel-la-Grande. But in showing mercy to an evildoer, he sows the seeds of his next adventure.

Though it's a little disjointed, Bryan Perro's storytelling shows a very active imagination and wit. Middle school readers (especially boys) who enjoy action-packed and magical adventures will appreciate Amos Daragon.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews