Reviews for Erec
Rex: The Dragon's Eye
"DRAGON’S EYE is a fantastic tale of a boy who
gets caught up in a world he never knew existed and finds out he’s
part of something much bigger than he knew. It is a magical story
filled with suspense, intensity, heart, and courage. I loved this
book … and I’ll be waiting for a sequel."
- Devon Werkheiser, “Ned,” star of
Nickelodeon’s popular daily sitcom
Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
"This is an action-packed fantasy filled with rich characters kids
will really relate to. Erec Rex is poised to take over Harry
Potter’s long reign. "
- Maria Schneider, Editor-in-Chief
"Entertaining magics and magical gear, along with polished vignettes
from Grant, animate familiar fantasy trope in this seriocomic debut
. . . Nefarious schemes, a crew of sneering bullies, sumptuous
feasts, allies for Erec, a surprise villain and magic worked by
everything from explosive “nitrowisherine” to push-button remotes,
Kingsley speeds her tale along to a climax involving an impulsive
dragon. . . Closing with the news that the young hero still has 12
tasks to fulfill, this light but not insubstantial outing definitely
belongs aboard the Potter wagon, but merits a seat toward the front."
- Kirkus Reviews
October 1, 2006
"This title is a solid addition to the juvenile fantasy collection.
The main character, Erec Rex, travels to a secret world hidden
within our own (a la Neverwhere) to save his mother from an evil
king. Along the way he becomes involved in a competition to choose
the next three kings of this fantastical world. The story becomes
more complex and compelling as trust is questioned, friendships
forged, and magical abilities are discovered. The story touches on
issues of social justice, politics, and sportsmanship, and would be
useful in a social studies class. Young readers will enjoy this
story and eagerly anticipate the next book in the series."
- Meagan Albright
"For the millions of Harry Potter fans desperately waiting for the
next installment of the famous series, this novel will provide a
worthwhile diversion. The first book in what promises to be an
ongoing fantasy series, Erec Rex contains elements of magic,
conflict, and otherwordliness reminiscent of the Potter series, and
Kingsley delivers her tale in a light-hearted yet compellily style
like that of J.K. Rowling or Diana Wynne Jones.
Erec Rex, resident of New York City, wakes up one morning to find
the world gone horribly wrong. His mother is missing, a creepy
guardian won’t let he or his siblings leave the house, and his
efforts to figure out what’s happening turn up even more questions.
Eventually, Erec makes his way through a secret entrance in Grand
Central Station to a magical world where a contest to discover the
next rulers of the lands just happens to be getting underway. The
contest is comprised of a series of events, reminiscent of the
competition in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Participants
test their knowledge of magical creatures in the maze-like MONSTER,
“multi option non stop to end race,” try to work as a team in the
debate like “Pro and contest,” and compete head to head in
three-phased “Tribaffleon.” Caught up in the competition, Erec finds
friendship and bullies, magic and trickery, and clues to his own
identity that make for as compelling a read as any Hogwarts
The quirky setting is as much a star of this fantasy as any of the
characters. A castle tipped onto its side, mazes and magical
creatures, and cleverly devised competitions create an atmosphere
any fantasy fan will long to visit. The story is peppered with
delightful gadgets like anibals, colorful balls that burst to reveal
a real animal inside and an Identdetector that “shows your true
identity and appearance and exposes people who changed shape,” and
nitrowisherine, an explosive substance that also grants wishes. This
is Kingsley’s first novel, and she is currently working on the
second book the Erec Rex series. Notable fantasy illustrator Melvyn
Grant pens illustrations for each chapter that illuminate aspects of
the setting crucial to the plot, like the side-lying castle, and the
magic glasses Erec uses to speak to his missing mother.
The book concludes with the news that Erec has more tasks to
fulfill, followed by a cliffhanger of an epilogue that contains
clues to his mysterious past—good news for fantasy readers of all
- Carolyn Bailey
"This story reminds me of Harry Potter meets the X-Men. Dragon Eye
tells of the magical trek of a young boy trying to find his mother.
Along the journey, he also discovers shocking knowledge about
himself. This is a great story with such incredible detail that you
will find yourself enjoying the journey."
- Autumn Lynn
River Reader Books, Lexington, MO
"A funny, fast-paced, ‘Harry Potter’-style read."
- Sara Pearce
The Cincinnati Enquirer
"Welcome to the world, Erec Rex. Your readers have long awaited you.
Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye is a fun, fascinating book that makes you
want to chill out for a while and just read. Plus, this book's brave
new world is chock full of nifty magical gadgets; cute, dorky, and
even scary magical critters (fluffy pink kitten, anyone?); and
spellbinding people who are mean, magical, or possibly dimwits.
These lively creations found a platform all their own. In other
words, the Harry Potter books may have inspired Kaza Kingsley in
writing The Dragon's Eye, but this book bloody well stands on its
Strangely enough, the beginning of The Dragon's Eye was its ending.
"What? Come again," you say. It's last chapter (the epilogue) serves
as a bit of backstory rather than end-of-story and gathers interest
like no other ending I've yet read. How horrid, how ingenious, and
how dare you, Ms. Kingsley! I hate waiting for sequels!
So, you're probably wondering what's up with "The Dragon's Eye" part
of the title. Right? Well, don't expect me to spill that detail.
You'll have to read the book to find out."
- Sherryl King-Wilds
"A great read! Author Kaza Kingsley is one to watch!"
- Jeff Bowen
USA Book News.com
"An engaging adventure, accessible to readers of all ages but
especially recommended for YA libraries and reading shelves."
- James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
The Midwest Book Review
"Erec Rex suddenly wakes up one morning to find his mother gone,
Inexplicably. No note, no anything. But she left her glasses. She
NEVER leaves her glasses. Seized by an idea, he heads to a hot dog
stand- And discovers a mysterious trap door in the sidewalk, that a
girl named Bethany says his mother was taken down. The two children
go down and find themselves in a strange station, and head to a
place called "Alypium".... A place where people can fly, and where
magical creatures really exist. But something is wrong in Alypium,
the king seems to have gone mad and his castle has been, literally,
turned on it's side. Erec and Bethany discover that there are two
other worlds, ruled by other kings and queens. But the rulers have
decided to retire, and a contest is going on to choose the next
three rulers of the magical lands. Erec and Bethany decide to
participate, but during their stay at the castle, something indeed
seems rotten. As Erec strives to free his mother, Larger and much
more horrifying events start to unfold... Events which could throw
all four worlds into deathly jeopardy."
Rating: 5.0 wands!
“A very good book. Vivid descriptions, and a riveting storyline,
Along with a great sense of humor. I highly recommend it!”
- David, Reviewer
Wands and Worlds
“Pros: A fun read, a "magic" fix for young readers and old alike.
Cons: Part one of a series.
The Bottom Line: A good read for fans who are waiting on Harry
Potter and can't get enough of magical adventure tales. I bought 3
copies for Christmas gifts.
Along the way, Erec learns more about his biological history and the
reader realizes The Dragon's Eye is the beginning of what promises
to be an entertaining adventure.
Fantasy creature fans won't be disappointed as minotaurs,
werewolves, sea creatures and dragons all make an appearance in this
Audience: Those who enjoyed Harry Potter and Eragon will no doubt
enjoy Erec Rex. I found myself engrossed in the mystery of Erec and
Bethany's secret magical past.
The tone of the book was also not condescending like the Lemony
Snicket books and did not talk down to the readers, thereby making
it more accessible for teens and adults to enjoy as well.
"Tis book made me relax, even though I cared about its characters and
Plus-there's a multitude of cool new things-a store called Vulcan
(that sells magical, life-like household items), Inquizzles, and a
whole new world right under Grand Central Station- to ponder. The
author, Kaza Kinsgley, also based many of the names and places after
Greek and Latin Mythology. All in all-I think this is definitely a
book worth your time, especially if you're a fan of fantasy fiction
with a little real-life twist."
- Sookie, Over My Head
"Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye will be the next book to spark the
imagination of countless children. It is a perfect book to read with
your child, creating a bonding experience that parents will love as
much as children."
- Dr. Thomas Sullivan
"Actually, Erec Rex isn't much like Harry Potter after all . . .
Until age 12, he has grown up in a loving home, raised by a woman
named June O'Hara, who has a weakness for unwanted children. . .
[Erec] from time to time . . . is overcome by an urge to do
something whether or not he knows why it must be done. No matter how
hard he fights, he always gives in at the end...and a good thing,
too, because so far his "cloudy thoughts," as he calls them, have
enabled him to prevent bad things from happening. He only worries
that this weird, stomach-upsetting form of ESP may someday force him
to do bad things.
Scarcely have we been introduced to Erec's interesting family when
he is swept off on his first adventure. A "cloudy thought" tells
Erec that his mother has been captured, and it leads him to a hot
dog stand near Grand Central Station. Together with a runaway
newsgirl, Erec plunges into a world he never knew existed, a world
full of magic, governed by two kings and a queen who are ready to
retire after centuries on the throne. While he tries to find out
what happened to June, Erec decides he might as well join the
children competing in a series of magical games, in which the
winners will be the next kings and queens. At first, he figures this
will at least give him a base from which to work; but as he finds
himself among the winners in game after game, Erec seems
increasingly likely to win. And that in spite of the suspicions of
one of the judges, the malice of a fellow competitor named Balor
Stain, hints of betrayal and corruption in the royal court of
Alypium, and a series of dangerous traps someone has been laying for
the winners of each contest.
Erec gains interesting friends, including a dog that turns into a
ravening beast at the full moon; he obtains some magical aids, such
as the "seeing eyeglasses" and a pair of sneakers truly worthy of
the name; he concocts some fabulous plans and experiences some truly
exciting and dangerous adventures, including an encounter with a
soul-devouring demon reminiscent of Harry Potter's dementors - only
cleverer. . . Teachers will appreciate the complexity of logic and
problem solving and the inspiration for creativity within the story.
This book will be added to my recommended book list."
- Robbie Fischer
The Book Trolley
"In the world of young adult fiction there are a lot of reading
choices you could make. There is something for everyone out there
and one of the books we should all be reading is Erec Rex: The
Dragon’s Eye, Kaza Kingsley’s first novel in a new series about an
adventurous 12 year old with a glass eye and magical cloudy visions.
Great characters people this story and the small touches like a
dancing coat rack or a pair of glasses that let you see the person
you miss most are icing on the cake. Not to mention the magical
remote controls — who wouldn’t want one of those? Also the vivid
descriptions of the world are fantastic. Your imagination is given
free rein to enjoy all the magical, wacky, wonderful creatures,
people, and devices that roam through Ms. Kingsley’s story.
The Dragon’s Eye is a great introduction to a whole new world. This
would be a good book to curl up with your little one and read to
them or read first yourself and pass it on. The action is constant
and just keeps you turning pages as you wonder what could happen
next. Erec’s adventures continue with Erec Rex: The Monsters of
Otherness, and I can’t wait to get started."
- Katie McNeill
"Kaza Kingsley has created a multi-layered fantasy that is ripe for
discussion. It is packed with whimsical new ideas and subtle humor.
I will certainly introduce it in my classroom. Perfect to mix fun
- Karen Klaus, Fifth Grade Teacher
"As a pediatrician, I recommend Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye . . . .
Fantasy, mystery, humor, excitement . . . all the important elements
that stimulate kids’ love of books are in here."
- Robert Kahn, MD, MPH
"Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye is a terrific book to encourage children
to read. They will love the element of fantasy and suspense, and
teachers will appreciate the complexity of logic and problem solving
and the inspiration for creativity within the story. This book will
be added to my recommended book list."
- Barbara Hilb
Middle School Gifted Intervention Specialist
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