Review: The Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale

Posted January 18, 2017 in Review / 10 Comments

Review: The Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale

The Wizard's Dog

by Eric Kahn Gale
Published by Random House, Crown Books for Young Readers on January 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 288
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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For fans of The Hero s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom comes an offbeat, comedic spin on the Excalibur legend told from the point of view of a talking dog who wants to be a magician!

Meet Nosewise. He s spunky. He s curious. And he s a dog who can t understand why his pack mates Merlin and Morgana spend all day practicing magic tricks. If it s a trick they want, he s the dog to ask! He can already Sit!, Stay!, and Roll Over! But there s no way Nosewise is Stay!ing when his master and best friend, Merlin, is kidnapped. There s nothing Nosewise won t do to get Merlin back, even if it means facing the strange Fae people and their magic-eating worms, or tangling with the mysterious Sword in the Stone. But it may take more than sniffing out a spell to do it!

Nosewise's hilarious escapades and steadfast loyalty get him and his companions through King Arthur s Dark Ages.



A middle grade book?  Really, Kristin?



Do you NOT see that awesome cover?  It’s got Merlin and his adorable dog on it!


Who isn’t completely enthralled by the story of Merlin, Arthur, Morgana, Avalon, and Excalibur (aka the Sword in the Stone)?  Every version, almost every story, I can soak them all up and still never get enough.  Yes, even the Magic Tree House series counts 🙂  As soon as I saw the cover of this simply titled book, The Wizard’s Dog, I knew I had to break out of my comfort zone and read this.  Oh, I am so giddy that I did.

The story starts out with Merlin and Morgana training in the study of Merlin’s home.  Nosewise, Merlin’s faithful (and turns out Merlin’s first) dog sits outside the study, cursing the invention of doors that keep him separated from his pack mates.

Told entirely in Nosewise’s point of view, we learn that there might of been some key characters and details missing from the tale we all know and love about when Arthur pulled the sword from the stone.  Oh, the Lady of Lake is still there, along with some other wonderful surprise appearances from canon characters.

Being a huge fan of the Fae, I LOVED this take on the famous tale.  And Mr. Gale kept the world (and plot, for that matter) simple and basic enough for a middle grade reader to grasp quickly.  NO subversive messages or anything like that.  It’s all there, out in the open.  But the story isn’t too simple.  There are good guys, there are bad guys.  There is betrayal, love, and the meaning of family all woven into this story… yep, told by a dog.

And I only picked it up for the cover.  Ha!

As a reader of fantasy, I could appreciate Mr. Gale’s interpretation of magic.  He used a “school” for the magic that I had never read before.  That’s not to say that it’s never been used before.  I just haven’t run across it before.  It was brilliant in my opinion.  And nope, I won’t spoil it here, either.  Sorry…..   not really.

This is a short book that I believe to be an excellent recommendation for the most reluctant reader.  The almost non-stop action should keep anyone hooked for hours.   Like I was…  sorry, Hubs!  Dogs rule, husbands drool.


About Eric Kahn Gale

Eric lives in Chicago, IL with his wife and his dog, Bowser--the inspiration for Nosewise in The Wizard's Dog.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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10 responses to “Review: The Wizard’s Dog by Eric Kahn Gale

  1. Hi Kristin.
    Yay! Something light-hearted! I get tired of angst all the time.
    I have a whimsical ‘King Arthur’ re-telling; ‘The Title of Temperance’. I like to read something fun {rather than grim} now and then,
    Happy Reading!
    ~Icky. 🙂

  2. LOVE that cove and would probably pick it up for that alone. So glad this one captured your attention even to your hubby’s dismay. 🙂 I’m actually not a fan of King Arthur but I usually love the retellings. 🙂 Yea, I might have to read this one before I gift it. LOL
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