Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place to be when you're in the mood for an escape from the everyday mundane aspect of life; after all, reading can take you ANYWHERE.
Today's adventure is taking us out of this world and into the realm of Fantasy, but only just. It's the beginning of a Children's Fiction series aimed at middle grade readers but perfectly suited for those well beyond in years. It comes to us from a rising name in the literary arena and aside from being a good friend, fabulous photographer, and an awesome tweep from halfway around the world, she's a great writer too! Talk about a triple threat (or is that quadruple?)!
Seriously though, my experience reading her work thus far has been positive and the first release in her children's series only goes to push that opinion even higher. Haven't had the pleasure of reading her work just yet? Ah, but you will...RIGHT NOW! How's THAT for instant gratification? I do aim to please. (^_^) Today's book of choice is...
Book One: The Age of Akra
Prepare to be taken away to the planet Sage, as we embark on a quest for the Valley of a Thousand Thoughts and are led well beyond the scope of our initial journey. When a chance encounter (or is it?) with the prophesied Starchild sets our brother and sister duo on a mission far greater than their own (though that was PRETTY important as it is!), it will take strength, courage and the powers of the seven nations to surmount the obstacles placed in their paths. Their success or failure is entirely in their own hands because on this trip, the foes FAR out number the friends...and they are not that easily discerned either.
Far be it from me to try and over explain a work of fantasy even at a middle grade level seeing as how it's not my usual forte, admittedly though, I HAD FUN! So, in order to better get across my likes/dislikes, I'll approach this one on familiar ground. Characters anyone? Mai was a GREAT character; humble, loyal, eager to learn as well as share what she has learned, in other words a great model as well as fictitious leader in the making. She has a lot on her shoulders but makes the most of each challenge and never accepts defeat. (Definitely like her... ^_^) Long, the unlikely volunteer and yet perfect traveling companion especially with his unique skills, proves to be the comic relief most often, but also shows us that your lot in life does not measure the size of your heart...and despite any misgivings you may have about him, Long's really is quite large. Oh yes, and speaking of comic relief, I couldn't forgive myself if I left out Barka! He's a good-natured little fellow that never hesitates to tell you like it is...though tell is not meant in the traditional sense. Think Rapunzel...(read the book...you'll see)...
Outside the family, we have Akra, who is a newcomer to both these lands as well as the world in general. How so? Well, he is supposedly the long await Starchild that will bring balance to them all...but first, he had to grow into all the powers he is to possess AND avoid being taken out by the dark forces in hot pursuit. Yep. He's got troubles aplenty but with the help of his new found friends, the odds are a bit more in his favor. Continuing on that darkened path, we have the spiderflax (-shudders- ...if Aragog creeped you out...BE PREPARED!) and the Dementra (-double shudder- ...no comment but their name in and out itself should tell you something), not to mention all the other baddies out to influence Akra and Sahib to join with the dark side; a myriad of pitfalls but only their faith in the light and friendships can guide them through. What's that? I forgot to mention Sahib? Silly me. He is an integral part of all that will unfold, though how and why are not immediately clear. All I can say is to give it time...and pay attention! (It's SO worth it!)
|Author Vacen Taylor|
Review copy courtesy of author Vacen Taylor. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as her future works, be sure to stop by the book's official page, like her on Facebook, pin her on Pinterest, or follow along on Twitter!
Until next time....happy reading!