The Write Reads Tour | The Legend of Black Jack | A. R. Witham

Hello everyone!

Today I am pleased to be joining another The Write Reads book tour. This time it is The Legend of Black Jack by A. R. Witham.


Prepare to be whisked away to another realm in this epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s characters in Stardust or Patrick Rothfuss’s prose in The Name of the Wind.

Jack Swift remembers everything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.

But fate has another escape in mind.

At 3:33 am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.

Why do they all expect him to become a legend?
Genre: YA Fantasy

Length: 495 Pages

Publishing: 20th May 2022




I have to say that this book is utter joy! There are no two ways about it

The book revolves around Jack Swift. A young genius who whilst out on a day out with his Dad experiences a tragic loss. As they investigate a mysterious cave full of indigenous American Indian artefacts. Upon finding the artefact's the cave collapses. Dad dies and Jack is left orphaned.

Subsequently Jack enters the social service foster life and ends up with the alcoholic Rose Higgs, which is very reminiscent of the orphanage in Annie. However, as Rose Higgs's problematic alcohol takes hold, she eventually loses all of her wards, except for some reason Jack, who virtually becomes her live in carer. In order to cope our little genius devours knowledge, all forms of knowledge, but in particular medical knowledge.
One night he is visited by a two legged talking rhino who whisks him through a portal to the magical world of Keymark.

This world is different, full of magic and legendary swordsmen and the Legend of Black Jack. It is this legend that Jack gets mistaken for. Jack was a legendary surgeon and generally good guy all round.

When Jack comes to this world, the people believe that he is this legendary figure, and that he is the famed surgeon Black Jack. However, they realise that they have got the wrong Jack. Well, not exactly the wrong Jack, but the Jack from the wrong time who has not got any of the experience that the Legendary Jack has.

However, not to be deterred they then tell him that he has to operate on a patient in order to maintain the safety of Keymark. Now, Jack doesn’t take this in his stride, but he does manage to carry out the delicate operation, and seemingly saves the world. Yip - diddle - yee - ee! Job done! Now he can get off back to earth and the life and world that he is used to!

The End!

Like really!

This is just the start of the adventure, and it is not long before Jack meets the big bad of the piece, The Necrorceror!

The book is chock full of pirates, demons, dragons, zombies, knights and all sorts of other creatures.

From the offset, when A.R. Witham fires the starting pistol, the pace speeds like a bullet. In fact at some points, you need to take a rest just to catch your breath because there is so much stuff happening. It is an action packed ride from the beginning to end.

The book is aimed towards younger readers, particularly middle grade readers, and I would say this is a fantastic introduction for younger readers into fantasy realms.

It’s a good wholesome book that treats its readers with an element of maturity, so if you are thinking of letting your young person read this, be aware that A. R. Witham does not hide the darker side of life, such as references to problematic alcohol use and the book also deals with death. There is nothing gruesome in it, but people do die, but it is no worse than the current slew of Marvel films.

The book is full of terrific characters who are all vibrant and believable, and you can’t help but like them all (obviously except the bad guys, who are sufficiently bad!)

One of the things that I liked about the book was that Jack does not immediately turn into a superhero and he does not gain magic powers, he uses his noggin showing that hard work and studiousness does pay off.

But don’t think that this is a case of wish fulfilment and Jack beats all the bad guys. Jack regularly feels anxious about his capabilities and has to find his inner strength, especially in the light of his parents death.

The Legend of Black Jack is a wonderful romp of a book that will keep both adults and younger readers entertained.

About the Author

A. R. Witham is a three-time Emmy-winning writer-producer and a great lover of adventure. He is the world’s foremost expert on the history of Keymark. He loves to talk with young people and adults who remember what young people know. He has written for film and television, canoed to the Arctic Circle, hiked the Appalachian Trail and been inside his house while it burned down. He lives in Indianapolis.

If you would like a sneak peek at his upcoming work or upcoming events, please reach out to him:

Twitter: @ARWitham

Facebook: ARWitham





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