By: Bruce Smith
Publisher: Hidden Shelf Publishing House
Publication Date: August 29, 2022
Reviewed By: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: February 20, 2023
In his new book, Legend Keepers: The Partnership, Bruce Smith gives his readers a captivating continuation to the story he started in Legend Keepers: The Chosen One. In this story we find out that sometimes you are just not able to fix a problem on your own...you must have a partner.
In Legend Keepers: The Partnership, the author resumes his tale of Buddy, the young mountain goat introduced in the first book, who is fixed on finding a safe place for her herd to survive what she refers to as “The Great Warming.” This quest of Buddy’s brings her in contact with a new character to the series, Garson Strangewalker. This young boy is a 12-year-old school kid dealing with many problems: He is in a new place, he does not seem to fit in well at school and has not made any friends, he has a very overprotective mom, and his father has disappeared and no one is sure if he is still alive.
While attending a school science fair, Garson asks what seems to be a simple question and it changes his entire life. With the help of his mom and his science teacher Mr. Rock, Garson embarks on his own science project regarding glaciers and what is happening to the environment due to their melting. He sets out to climb to the top of the Shining Mountain Glacier, near his own home, and when he gets to the top he meets Buddy and, after getting over the surprise that this young mountain goat can actually speak to him, he becomes involved in her quest to find a safe place for Buddy and her friends on their mountaintop. This chance meeting sets off a number of events that quickly transform this scared and confused young boy into a very determined young man who wants to do his part to educate others and save the environment.
The characters in this book, both animal and human, are wonderfully written and so engaging. As readers we can easily feel the fear and determination in Buddy to find a safe place on the mountain; we can understand the lack of trust that comes through in Roark as he tries to decide whether or not Garson can really help them; and the happiness and depression that both come through in Mr. Rock as he wants Garson to succeed in continuing the work he started so long ago at the top of the glacier but he also wishes he were still young enough and able to go up there and solve the problems himself.
Bruce Smith, a wildlife biologist himself, is a wonderful writer and this story certainly shows his skill with the pen. His background and knowledge of the environment make for a story that is so very educational to all in terms of environmental issues. In addition to that, he writes such well-rounded and interesting characters (again both human and animal) and the reader can easily care about each and every one and wish for their success. The characters show so many emotions; distress at the situation, enjoyment and lots of humor and fun in their interactions together, as well as fear and confusion. Everything is wrapped together in a perfectly written package that leaves the reader, as with the first book, longing for the next installment in the series to see what the next steps in their searches for the perfect and safe life will be. This is a story that you will not put down until the very end and then, as a reader, wait eagerly for the next one.
Quill says: For those out there who see the cover and think “this book isn’t for adults,” I believe you are wrong. This is a book for children, the adults in their lives, and anyone who has an interest in science, the environment, and climate change. In other words...this is a wonderful book that should be read by all!