FeaturedYoung Adult Fantasy

The Time Warden


Loved it! 😍

When Kirt Morgana fails his first real mission for Lord Humphrey, he embarks on an epic quest, to turn back time.

Kirt Morgana was destined to be a knight, following in his father's footsteps. But the day he should have received his mark, something went wrong; and so did his life. Meanwhile, Luke Durand had dreams of being a warrior, but when her parents perished in the war, she and her brother, Sid, were left with their debts. With no other options, she was drafted to guard a strange box for twelve hours a day in a lonely tower. She hates her job and wants nothing more than to be allowed some form of freedom. When Kirt is secretly tasked with retrieving this mysterious box, he fails dramatically, and in his shame, he remembers stories told to him when he was a youngster. Somewhere in the north, is a Time Warden; someone who can turn back time, giving him the chance to prove his worth. When Luke discovers her brother is missing in the fire resulting from Kirt's fief's attack, she heads north with revenge in her heart.

The Time Warden seems to take aspects from British folk lore - particularly Arthurian myths and legends. There are regular curses to Myrddin - which is typically the Welsh form of Merlin - as well as dialect such as aye, lad and lass. That Kirt's father is Sir Kay, and that he lives in (and Luke protects) a castle with a motte and bailey just compounds that Medieval mythology has clearly been an inspiration for Barth.

What makes The Time Warden so compelling isn't just the well written prose and easy dialogue between the teenaged characters. It's not just the humour that's woven into the lines along with the characterisation and their genuine emotions, either. Although they're certainly enough to keep the reader fully engaged and entertained throughout. The story line, sub plots and tropes are clearly the creation of a unique mind; not to mention the detailed and extensive research of Arthurian Legends. All of the former points add up to what is honestly a brilliant Young Adult Fantasy story but when you add the fact that Barth is the same age as her lead characters into the equation, you're in for a surprisingly mature read.

There is one criticism, however. At times, Barth seems to slip away from the world she's painstakingly crafted by using slang and slightly sloppy language within the main prose. The reader is transported away from the fantasy with a bump, remembering that this isn't a far-away-land in the Middle Ages, but is simply a work of fiction, from a young (albeit talented) writer. If she could avoid using words such as 'gotten' and 'screwed up' in the prose, one could fully believe that The Time Warden was written by a much older author. In dialogue, those kind of words are fine - they express characterisation and dialect. Admittedly, I'm being picky, but it allows Barth some room to grow. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what she's got in store next.

S. A.

Reviewed by

Sally's debut novel, The With Laws is now available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited!! Sally loves to read, and is a champion of Indie Authors, especially those who write fantasy novels. She is the proud reviewer on The Indie Book Nook (link in bio). When not reading, she knits!


About the author

Nora Barth is 16 years old and lives in Omaha, Nebraska. She enjoys fencing, trying out new coffee shops, going outside, and talking about writing! She’s a huge reader—from classics and Shakespeare to the newest YA fantasy release—as well as an artist, musician, and thespian. view profile

Published on March 06, 2023

70000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Reviewed by