Behold his mightiness: Frog the Barbarian…

Whenever Moontrug dreams of alien invasions (and it’s the kind of dream that crops up often – that, and riding Iorek Byrnison over snowy mountains), she imagines being rescued by a mighty dragon or a unicorn with attitude. Never a frog – nope, never. And then along comes Guy Bass’ new series where the hero, the MIGHTY warrior, the guy everyone expects to save the world, is a FROG. But Frog is a little different from the amphibians you see hopping and croaking around in classroom tanks. In Bass’ first book Frog was a legend, and in his second, he is a BARBARIAN…

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Frog has saved the princess and probably the whole world, but all is not well in Kingdomland. The King and Queen of Everything are determined to flatten anyone who gets in their way, and they want Frog as their royal champion. Can Frog help them defeat a boastful dragon, a shamefaced shyclops and (yet another) army of alien invaders? It’s time for Frog to find his destiny…

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Bass brings us a fantastic range of characters: a furry-panted barbarian called Man-Lor, a failed space invader called General Kurg, a wizard who wears impractically tall hats and a decidedly grumpy Rarewolf to name but a few… Bass has a wonderful ability to subvert the fairytale norm and bring us something new – like Shrek, but in a book – so that makes this EVEN cooler. Moontrug loved the fact that the Queen was a frightening warrior and her husband a bit of a wimp, and lines like ‘My sword, husband… It’s in the picnic basket. Next to the porkberry pie’ were brilliant.

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Frog is a wonderful and very unique hero and the fact that the first thing he does each morning is to check ‘that he still had a head’ is hilarious. His trust steed, the wooly sheep called Sherrif Explosion, is a also fab addition to the world-saving team and though he is limited to one word ‘Baa’, this does no justice to the terrifying ordeals he faces, as Bass tells us. Despite Frog’s bravado, he is in fact rather insecure and so it comes as little surprise that to face down the alien invaders and save Kingdomland, he has to turn to some allies for help. Cue Princess Rainbow, the Mystery Kroakan, the rarewolf and the bafflingly boastful Bragon. Like Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately the Milk, the book’s scope for extraordinary settings and characters will delight any 7+ reader looking for a fantastical adventure. I mean, who wouldn’t want to snoop around the bragon’s blue house floating amongst the clouds? (Moontrug would definitely be trespassing inside the bragon’s Door to Nowhere… ) The plot is adventurous and packed full of humour – and readers can look forward to the third book in this hilarious series, The Mighty Frog, next year…