Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Candy Wars II: Sweet Revenge / R.G. Cordiner

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Middle Grade / Fairy Tale

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


A primary school teacher in Australia, R.G. Cordiner uses his students as guinea pigs, reading his books aloud in class and gauging their reactions. I view it as a hands-on kind of market research. He has three other books available for the Kindle, Bug Island (a horror story for a younger audience), Treasure Lost (a pirate adventure), and Candy Wars: The Tooth Fairies vs The Candy King. An omnibus edition of both Candy Wars books is also available. For more information, see Mr. Cordiner’s blog.


This is a sequel to Candy Wars: The Tooth Fairies vs The Candy King. Emily and James have been home for a year since their adventures in the first Candy Wars book and are bored. When a portal appears, they know what to do and are soon back at the scene of their previous adventures. They hardly recognize the desolate wasteland and they can’t find their friends, the tooth fairies. (Both Candy Wars books are available in a combined volume as well.)


Although not folkloric, both Candy Wars books have the qualities of a fairy tale as I think of them. The experts are still arguing over a definition. The setting is (mostly) in a magical enchanted land populated with mythical beings. The characters experience adventure and in the process are transformed.

Cordiner’s distinctive style uses made up words for sounds. Whether intended or not, I see this as a nod to the oral tradition of fairy tales and other folkloric stories. It makes them fun to read aloud and readers in the prime age range for this book have fun making the sounds while getting practical practice in “sounding out” words.

Another quality I imagine is (or should be) in the definition of a fairy tale is that they teach their audience something by example. Where the original Candy Wars had lessons about war and family, Sweet Revenge has lessons about friendship and responsibility. My eight year-old granddaughter just ate this book up. I think your kids will like it too.


Uses Australian slang and spelling conventions. 

It would be better to read this book after reading the first in the series. Full understanding requires knowledge of what happened in the first book.

Format/Typo Issues:

I’m reviewing based on a pre-release copy and can’t judge this area.

Rating: **** Four stars

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