Book Reviews

The Verdigris Pawn by Alysa Wishingrad | Book Review

Genre: Middle-grade, Fantasy
Publication: Harper Collins Children’s books
Book Type: Standalone
MyRating: 4/5
Trigger Warning: Fights, Abduction, Slavery


A boy who underestimates his power . . .
A girl with a gift long thought lost . . .
A Land ready for revolution . . .

The heir to the Land should be strong. Fierce. Ruthless. At least, that’s what Beau’s father has been telling him his whole life, since Beau is the exact opposite of what the heir should be. With little control over his future, Beau is kept locked away, just another pawn in his father’s quest for ultimate power.
That is, until Beau meets a girl who shows him the secrets his father has kept hidden. For the first time, Beau begins to question everything he’s ever been told and sets off in search of a rebel who might hold the key to setting things right. 
Teaming up with a fiery runaway boy, their mission quickly turns into something far greater as sinister forces long lurking in the shadows prepare to make their final move—no matter what the cost. But it just might be Beau who wields the power he seeks . . . if he can go from pawn to player before the Land tears itself apart.

Beau: The heir to the Land
Cressi: Beau’s friend
Himself: Beau’s Father, the ruler/ master of the Land

On the plot

I absolutely was hooked to the story from the beginning. The book had an amazing story-line, the feel of a modern classic and brilliant set of characters. I enjoyed the rich and visual details that were laid out in this story. The climax and the ending was the winning point, the world-building was epic.

Writing & Theme

Set in the dystopian world, which is experiencing a mysterious plague – this book gave me the feels of a long wintry night. The story was symmetrical to the game of chess, which made it even more unique. I enjoyed the symmetry of the novel and I did not for a second feel it to be a children’s book – it was equally enthralling for me ( a 20 something years old). The writing was fluid and visual – it helped me imagine the world of The Verdigris Pawn as if it was a place of my own imagination.


I loved how child-like innocence and maturity was both reflected on every character mentioned in the book. I was in love with the little Cressi, the charmer girl who had the guts to go and make things right for everyone. I loved how Beau was written as a rebel.I hated the antagonist – I think it was written that way. I was confused in the beginning when Beau mentioned his Father as “himself”. It took me a while to get the hang of it, I enjoyed Nate and Fledge’s character as well.


I enjoyed this book more than I expected it to. The thoroughness of the book won my heart. I will definitely recommend it to the budding readers.

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