Sunday, August 31, 2008

Review: Far World: Water Keep

I had the great privilege this past summer to preview the first book in the new Far World series, Water Keep, by J. Scott Savage. I've learned a lot from J. Scott, (also known as Jeffrey S. Savage) by reading his blogs (here and here) and attending his workshops at writer's conferences.

Plus, Jeff and Scott are good friends with James Dashner, and I trust his judgment.

Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place-Far World. When Marcus magically travels to Far World, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two worlds.

But the Dark Cicle has learned of Master Therapass’s secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Far World’s only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elementals-water, land, air, and fire-and convince them to open a drift between the worlds. As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can through at them-Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S’Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers.

This book, aimed at the YA fantasy market, was a lot of fun to read. We went right to work on it as the girl's bedtime story. The girls and I really enjoyed reading the book.

Well, actually Alyssa fell asleep, which is what she always does during the bedtime story.

However, the story kept Anna riveted. I would read the requisite chapter, and Alyssa would fall asleep. Then I would read another chapter, because I wanted to see what happened. And then I would try and stop, and Anna would say "Don't you dare stop now!"

But I stopped anyway, because I have to maintain some semblance of authority.

This was a fun book to read, and the girls and I are both looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Far World: Water Keep is available this September from Shadow Mountain Books.

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