What do readers think of Splidge the Cragflinger?

REVIEWER: Mark from Lancs

This is a wonderful book, full of fun and full of life and is a great read for youngsters from the age of 7 or 8 onwards. But not just for kids. My niece brought a copy home home from school and for want of anything better to do I started to read it myself and found myself quickly under the spell of this remarkable little book. Suddenly, the years – and there were many of them – dropped away and I was eight years old again myself.

A great book, get t for your small friends and then pinch back from them and read it yourself. Better still, buy another copy and keep it on hand for those dark days when you may need it.

REVIEWER:  Raffles

This book came as a recommendation – I took a gamble ordering one for me and others for god children of various ages, It’s a highly original adventure story with characters that you really gravitate towards and become involved with and strangely fond of. As an avid reader I was aware that the author has a very vivid imagination and the attention to detail is wonderful. The feedback from the younger readers is that they truly loved it and are very keen to know when book two will be available (I understand this is part of a trilogy). Children are very honest and the feedback has been incredibly positive. I’m giving this new author 5 stars as I would highly recommend the book to parents and children alike. This would be a wonderful Christmas present.



REVIEWER: Chris UK (daughter aged 7)

My daughter thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and when she finished it asked me to find out if Richard Vobes had written any more. I haven’t read the whole book myself, but having read the first chapter I was impressed by the imaginative storyline and also the vocabulary used: The plethora of descriptive words certainly enriches the text, but from an educational point of view the book is bound to enlarge a young person’s vocabulary.


Since I wrote my original review, based on my daughter’s reaction to the book, I have read the book myself. Despite being an adult (!) I found the book to be hugely enjoyable and quite compelling. Richard Vobes is a very talented storyteller, and has written a real page-turner which I feel deserves to become a bestseller. Although the story is basically an adventure story, it is more finely crafted than many children’s books in that genre, and should appeal to a wider range of children than just those who enjoy adventure.

As well as the superb wide vocabulary mentioned in my earlier review, the book contains lovely character descriptions, some nice “historical” details (although the story itself is not set in a defined historical era, some of the detail will inform children about life in both medieval and Victorian periods), and raises some interesting socio-economic subjects for discussion, such as what happens when progress in automated manufacturing puts traditional craftspeople out of business. I wonder even whether there might be enough here for the book to be used in schools as a subject for class discussion.

But even without getting “all literary”, the book is a cracking good read, I would recommend it to boys and girls aged between about 8 and 13 without hesitation, and suggest that some parents might enjoy it too!

REVIEWER: Michelle USA aged 12

This book is great! The author has created an amazing world/culture that is somewhat similar to ours but different at the same time. I really enjoyed the action scenes where Splidge and his associates have to use their talents to stop the evil Baron from completing his plans and avoid being killed at the same time.

The story takes place in the land of Gud where the kingdom is bankrupt. The King has one chance to stop the kingdom’s bankruptcy, the cragflinging tournament. Cragflinging is a sport where people throw crags, a sort of harry round animal, at a target on the wall. However, the King does not have a royal cragflinger and his half-brother, the Baron, wants to have the kingdom bankrupt so that the king has to hand over his power.

A boy named Splidge signs up to be the royal cragflinger not even knowing what it is. Splidge and his crag have to do everything in their ability to win the tournament and stop the Baron from executing his evil plans.

I would recommend this book to people who like mediaeval fantasy stories with lots of action.

A really charming book with characters that you will care about. I’m way above the age group the this book is aimed at, but I’ve been following Richard’s progress as he’s been writing this book, the first of the ‘Splidge’ trilogy, so I just had to read it. Richard sets the scene well and develops the characters intelegently as the story evolves. This may be a children’s book, but it certainly isn’t ‘childish’ with vocabulary that will broaden reading and language skills. This book and its delightful story will appeal to a fairly wide age group but certainly to the 9 to 12 year old audience that it is aimed at. I look forward to following the further adventures of Splidge in the Land of Gud in the next 2 books.


This was a jolly good read, even if I am 50 years old! Richard’s writing has such good descriptive flair and will keep you and your children in suspense. It’s to be admired that the writer can keep young and old gripped together reading the characters adventures and struggles. There is something for all in this book and a humour that flows well throughout the pages. In these technological times,it’s good to let your children read an adventure that incorporates a historical flavour and for you to dwell in a time and a land that is of yesteryear, where your imagination can paint its own pictures. This book held my attention all the way through the read and, like all good books, it’s such a shame to finish it! I’m glad there are more adventures to read and I look forward to getting engrossed in the next stories.
I can’t recommend this book’s clearly been crafted with great care and love and we should all look out for this author in the future.

REVIEWER: Helen Baley

This book is brilliant ! I am halfway through reading it to and with my 3 children who are 10, 10 and 9 years old. They are utterly enthralled by the story and ask me to read a bit every night. We all love the descriptions – they make it very easy to envisage life in olden day England so Richard brings history to them with each read as well as a fun and entertaining story. some of the vocabulary, words mainly, is just beyond what they’d normally read but it’s brilliant as it’s pulling them into the next reading stage without them realising it. This is a magic book for both boys and girls and so far we are charmed by it ! I’m buying it for all my god children for Christmas !

REVIEWER: Martin Pluck

My 13 year old son absolutely loved this adventure. He could barely put it down and can’t wait for the next Splidge book. He gives it five stars and says he would give it six if he could.!