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James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Alongside his friends Ben and Mary Forester, James Clyde must protect a powerful diamond from falling into the wrong hands. A strange and sinister man dressed in black is also pursuing the diamond and will stop at nothing to obtain it. James and his friends set off on a perilous journey to return the diamond to its rightful place. But they are being hunted every step of th ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Matador
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
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Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, ya
Inspired from C.S.Lewis's magical and evocative masterpiece, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Colm McElwain, an Irish modern-day author, has captured those C.S.Lewis's vision and vivid imagination into his own kingdom of words in his debut book, James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra. McElwain's tale is filled with some exciting adventures and some power-packed actions like from sword fighting to chasing scenes across a mysterious land.

A huge thanks to the author, Colm McElwain, for t
Regina Foo
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of The Chronicles of Narnia
Actual rating 3.5.

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is a Middle Grade fantasy novel that can be enjoyed by young adult as well as adult. If you love C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia (specifically The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), you'll love this.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author, Colm McElwain in exchange of my honest review.

James Clyde is a 11-year-old boy who is adopted by Anne Brown. Apart from himself, Anne also have Ben and Mary Forester in her custody. One
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to be contacted by the author and offered a copy of this book and the next one in the series in exchange for an honest review. I do enjoy reading middle grade from time to time and the synopsis of this one sounded interesting and I'm pleased to say it delivered.

I find sometimes it's difficult to review middle grade book as I'm obviously not the target audience. As these types of books are written for younger people that often means that the writing and plot development is a l
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra (2012) is the first novel by Colm McElwain. With an 11-year-old protagonist, this fantasy will appeal to readers aged 8-12. The titular hero is a foster child who's recently come to live with a vaguely neglectful woman named Anne Brown. Brown, as James calls her, has also adopted slightly-younger Ben and Mary.

When the reader first encounters James, he's in the midst of a petty crime, stealing warm hats and gloves for himself and his brother and sister f
Caffeinated Fae

I picked up this book as part of #IndieApril, and I was excited to give it a chance. The description sounded like something right up my alley, and I’ve been reading so many romances that I figured it was time to take a break and jump into a good fantasy. James Clyde & the Diamonds of Orchestra is a mid-grade novel that grabs you from the start. Though it kept me entertained, I have to say I never felt a connection to any of the characters.

James Clyde was an interesting character, but I couldn’t
Happy Booker
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
James Clyde and the diamonds of Orchestra is the story about finding the truth. James was dropped off at a children’s home when he was just a child by his grandpa. Eleven years later, he begins to look for answers, but before he does, his grandfather gives him a diamond of Orchestra.

The diamond possesses powers that need protecting. That is when James and his friends take on the journey escaping from a man dressed in black.

I found the story to be more suitable for children aged between 12-15. T
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
James Clyde finds out he is the ruler of the mysterious land called Orchestra. He has to find out how to save his people from the bad people of Darken. With his best friends he finds himself in a little bit of a predicament…
Read more here!
Aubrey Joy
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

This story follows James Clyde who was dropped off at a children's home by his grandfather when he was a baby. Eleven years later he hears about his strange past and is determined to find out the truth. One day soon after, his grandfather gives him a Diamond of Orchestra and along with his two friends, Ben and Mary Foster they must protect the diamond from evil and are thrown into a magical journey they never thought possible.

James C
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think colm mcElwain is a great author and should write a another book i will give it a star rateing of 5.
Jacques Coulardeau
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Do not enter this book believing that the adventure will come to a full end. You would be mistaken. This is a first volume OF a series though I cannot tell you if it is going to be two or three or more volumes.

This being said you will find the book interesting. This novel is written for an audience between 12 and 16, when young people, and I think mostly boys, are still very much uncultured in the fantasy genre of literature written for young teenagers. If they were they would react like adults
Vanessa Kay
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once in a while, I do enjoy indulging to a good middle grade fantasy books. So when I was offered by the good author, Colm McElwain with his first book, James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra, I was curious. So I’ve read the sypnosis, watch its book trailer and read some reviews, then I’ve decided that I want to read it.

James Clyde and the diamonds of Orchestra started with a very intriguing sypnosis talking about this guy Marcus being pursued by some unknown assailants. The mention of a plac
Paul III
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story can be enjoyed by every kind of fantasy reader. If you like sorcery, magic, a coming of age tale, knights, kings & queens, monsters, kids discovering their destiny, and maybe even a gun scene or two? This is your story! The story will take you on an emotional roller coaster. You cheer James Clyde on at times, then you want to tell him to stop... You cringe when he's in danger, and cheer him on to succeed!

You first meet James Clyde in an interesting situation. He's on the run, and lear
Jessica Renee
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mr. McElwain sent this to me to give him my opinion, both as a teacher of young kids and as an avid reader myself who loves fantasy. Here are my thoughts both as a personal reader and as a teacher.

Personal Opinion:
I really liked this series on a personal level as it kept me engaged and was a fun, quick read despite the book being over 200 pages. There were parts that I thought could use a little more development and detail but I also understand that this book was written for middle school kids,
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Irish author Colm McElwain certainly tapped into the talent for fantasy and prose so often found wound through the DNA of the Emerald Isle. Lewis’s inspiration from his Narnia series is certainly on display in this magical adventure full of action scenes and fantasy. Like Narnia, though written for a younger audience, you will find it so spellbinding that any adult will fall prey to its mythos.

These young kids who your heart just melts for are forced to live a tumultuous and not so happy life ex
Cathryn Wellner
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
James Clyde and his pals, Mary and Ben, swept onto the terrain populated by the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. It takes courage and imagination to share the stage with such popular fare, but Colm McElwain does not disappoint. He has written a page turner that only occasionally flounders slightly in its forward motion. The characters are believable and likable, the action taut. If I were still a school librarian, I would know whose hands to put this into (or tablet to upload it onto) and w ...more
Marion Marchetto
If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series of books, then you will certainly enjoy James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra (first of a series of books). There are many similarities: an eleven year old orphan boy, his two friends - one boy and one girl, introduction of an 'other world' where James was born and must return to fight the forces of evil. Differences: James' friends are siblings, exchange a magic wand for a green diamond, the enemy is female instead of male, there are no exotic beasties ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A few niggles put me off at the start but I'm glad I stuck with it. Great world building and fast paced.
Seregil of Rhiminee
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Risingshadow.

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is a charming debut fantasy book for children and young adults. Colm McElwain has clearly written this book out of love for writing, because it's a thrilling adventure fantasy for readers who enjoy good storytelling.

Before I write more about this book, here's a bit of information about the plot:

At the beginning of the book James, Ben and Mary go to spend Christmas with James' grandfather, Wilmore Clyde. James is soon
John Walsh
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Starting off in media res and rushing along at a rapid pace throughout the book, James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra unleashes a story of a young boy and his two foster siblings as they are introduced into a magical alternative earth where they are faced with incredible danger but, on the other hand, great adventure. Starting from an unpromising beginning in an unloving foster home, the eponymous hero finds that his early years are rather more unexpected than he had previously realized. In ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Colm McElwain's James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is a fast-paced fantasy action adventure that will hold young readers' attention till the very end. The main characters are very likeable and easy to sympathize with, and some of the villainous creatures are both interesting and pretty scary: that's a good formula for keeping young minds glued to the story. We're just at the beginning though: this book is first of the series, so more adventures in the world of Orchestra are forthcoming!

Michael Narciso
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Morris
Back Cover: As an infant, James Clyde was deposited at a children’s home by his wounded, blood-soaked grandfather. As a result, he grows up under a cloud of mystery. Eleven years later, when he hears about his strange past, he vows to uncover the truth. But, before he can his grandfather hands him a magical and mysterious diamond of Orchestra. With the aid of his friends, Ben and Mary Forester, James must protect the diamond from evil forces. Soon, however, their lives are in grave danger.

Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra will hoard you within the most beautiful creation of tree - "papers" and blend you perfectly within the pure innocent adventures.

For a week I used to tuck in under the bed sheet with the paperback version of James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra and melt into the innocent whirlwind experience each night.
I’ve read most of the Young adult fantasy novels and wanted something that’s raw, fresh and pure, and I find myself lucky to come across this novel.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is about an orphan boy named James, who is actually the young king of the fantastical kingdom, Orchestra. He has two close friends, the siblings Ben and Mary, who has been with him ever since.

The book can be compared to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Both books are similar in plot. You have the young heroes (James, Ben, and Mary); an unimaginable, magical world of witches, ogres, etc; and the villainess who wishes to control the world
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
You can read my full review on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom Book Review: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

James is an 11 year old orphan living in a foster home along side two other foster kids, Ben and Mary.  Life is seemingly normal for James; he goes to school, he has friends, and he even has an uptight foster Mom.  Every year James, along with Ben and Mary, visit his Grandfather for the holidays.  Their stay with Wilmore is the highlight of the year for the children.  Wilmore fills the
Saskia Andriulli
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by Colm McElwain is a fast-paced fantasy adventure full of secrets and drama in the age-old battle of good versus evil. This exciting story stars a young hero-James Clyde, who has just learned about his past, the truth about his family, and the prophecy he must fulfill as it was foretold before his birth. At the tender age of 11 James has great expectations thrust upon him and he must quickly decide if he has the faith and courage to fulfill his destiny. ...more
Kris Velasco
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
What begins as a pretty typical fantasy adventure story turns out to be much more than what it appears to be. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra uses all the foundations used in setting up your standard fantasy adventure; you have your fantastical land filled with kings and their loyal knights as well as wizards and all sorts of magical creatures. But what separates this little gem from the rest is its ability to reel you in with its slew of its interesting characters and of course, excit ...more
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
"What would you do if you discover that you aren't really from this world? That somehow, somewhere, out there, two different groups of people await your arrival - the first one depends on you, while the other one wants you dead.

The story started off with James Clyde, an 11-year old boy running away from a security guard after being discovered of shoplifting. Amid the chase, he found himself inside a hut and his future foretold by the great psychic, Belinda. She told James that he wasn't really b
Lee (Rally the Readers)
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

2.5 Stars

At first glance, James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra has all the right ingredients for a middle grade fantasy: knights, magical creatures, an evil queen, and an eleven-year-old boy prophesied to rescue the kingdom. James and his friends, siblings Ben and Mary, have a series of exciting adventures that are sure to thrill younger readers. For me, though, the book was missing that sense of whimsy that pulls you into a fantasy world and makes you feel
Lianda Martin
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is an adventure fantasy for older children, written by Colm McElwain and published by Matador, an imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd, in 2012.
The story is set in this world and an alternative world called Orchestra, which explains the rather strange title. Unbeknown to him at the beginning of the story, the main protagonist, 11 year old James Clyde is the subject of a legend that foretells that, with the help of the three diamonds, he will return to fre
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Colm was raised and educated in Monaghan, Ireland. He is a Physical Education and Business teacher and likes reading books, watching films and playing sport. He has always loved storytelling, whether through literature or film. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra is his first novel and brings a very fulfilling creative experience spanning a number of years to an end.

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