Dave Duncan’s Ivor of Glenbroch books are a YA trilogy (actually collected in one volume now as The Adventures of Ivor), and they’re YA of the old school: They focus on a boy coming into his manhood, and show him being competent and honest and just generally exhibiting virtues of all sorts as he faces particular challenges.

In this case, the challenges are those facing a message-runner in medieval Scotland, as he seeks out a hermit on behalf of his thane, negotiates with a prince on behalf of his feudal lord, and carries a proposal of marriage where all is not what it seems.

They’re straightforward books, with plots that barely even have a half-twist in them, and characters that mostly exist in broad archetype. But they read quickly and Ivor’s a pleasant companion, so they go down easily. Recommended as a palate cleanser between weightier works.


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