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Book Review: ‘The Lost Sunlion’ by Lee Newbery (Last Firefox Series)

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It’s been raining for weeks. Bryncastell is so flooded that everything is shut down and people have just been stuck in their homes. With an energetic firefox, that isn’t easy. Charlie is doing his best to keep Cadno busy when something shocking happens, Cadno suddenly goes from being a firefox to being an electric fox! Charlie isn’t sure what caused this sudden change in Cadno’s powers but he bets it’s connected to all the rain. And he’s sure the answers will be in Fargone. So he gathers up his best friends, Lippy and Roo and heads to Fargone. When they get there, they find out that Cadno isn’t the only one with mixed-up powers. All of Fargone is having problems, so the Adventure Squad teams up with the Queen of Fargone for another giant adventure in Lee Newbery’s newest novel, The Lost Sunlion

[ Warning: My review of The Lost Sunlion contains some spoilers!]

Things get weird again in The Lost Sunlion

In the third installment of Lee Newbery’s The Last Firefox series, The Lost Sunlion, things are once again getting weird in Wales. It has been raining for weeks. And yeah, it’s Wales, rain is kinda their thing. But this is getting ridiculous. And actually dangerous, the dam is holding back so much water that the retaining wall is starting to show the strain. Charlie’s home is in real danger. 

Not to mention the danger it’s in from Cadno. The poor little guy can’t handle being cooped up for so long, but Firefox plus rain is a bad combination. Then things really get weird. Cadno suddenly goes from having fire powers to having lightning powers! As exciting as that is, Charlie is worried about just what that means. And he’s sure it’s somehow connected to the insane amount of rain they’re getting. So he convinces his dads to let him take Cadno to Fargone to see if Teg has any ideas about what’s going on. Charlie calls his buddies, Lippy and Roo, and the three of them (plus Cadno) head off to Fargone.

When they get there, they find out that Fargone is having problems too. All the magical creatures are switching powers, just like Cadno. And it’s not raining like crazy, but there is something falling from the sky, a floating village! Turns out that an evil giant has escaped from his prison and attacked Llew, the sunlion that guards the heart of Fargone’s magic. If the giant isn’t defeated and the heart restored, then it will be the end of Fargone! And the mayhem with the magical creatures will never be sorted out.

Now it’s up to Charlie and his friends to save the day. They’ve gone up against dangerous foes before, but this time they’re facing a literal giant! Can they defeat him and save Fargone, the magical creatures, and Wales? It’s a lot to ask of three young kids, but they’re not alone, true heroes never are.

The Lost Sunlion by Lee Newbery

Another great story from Lee Newbery

Lee Newbery is a busy guy. In 2022, he published his first book, The Last Firefox, to rousing acclaim from both critics and fans. Since then, he’s given us two more adventures starring Charlie, Cadno, and their friends. Three novels in two years is quite a lot for any author. The fact that Newbery manages to keep each story exciting and engaging while offering character growth for all his characters (not just the main hero) is really amazing. 

Authors of YA fiction tend to be overlooked by society. Sure, you have your occasional break-out author that gets noticed by adults, but to be honest, their efforts are often seen as less than compared to authors of adult novels. This is a completely unfair view. YA authors are the real heroes of the literature world.

We all had books we loved reading as children. Those stories helped shape us. They introduced us to new ideas and ways of thinking that we might not have been exposed to in our everyday lives, and they instilled our love of reading. Think about it, how many adults who read didn’t read as children? Without those YA authors captivating our young minds, adult authors would have no audience.

Not to mention that YA authors write great stories! Are there some books that I’ve read my kids that I found a little, let’s say… immature (looking at you Captain Underpants)? Sure. But they were written to engage young children, and they do a great job of that. On the other hand, there are YA books that even as an adult I find entertaining and thought-provoking. I honestly can say that I enjoy reading them. Newbery’s The Last Firefox series definitely falls into this second category. 

The Lost Sunlion isn’t just for kids

I strongly recommend Newbery’s work for kids anywhere from 6-12 (the age group I think will most enjoy them). I think that anyone will find the story of Charlie and Cadno heart-warming and uplifting. I would just love to cwtch Cadno, and I’m eagerly awaiting an animated version to fall in love with. So grab The Lost Sunlion and take a summer trip to Fargone with Charlie, Cadno, and the whole gang!

Rating: 9/10

The Lost Sunlion by Lee Newbery is now available on Amazon and other book stores! Will you pick up this series for your child? Let us know what you think on social media @mycosmiccircus. Check out my reviews of the other books in the series linked below!

Book Review: The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery

The Last Firefox by Lee Newbery review banner

Book Review: The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery

The First Shadowdragon by Lee Newbery review banner

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 229 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier