By: Laurisa White Reyes
Publication Date: May 2012
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: June 2012
The last decade has certainly seen the biggest influx of YA series’ into the market, and with this book we have yet another. This debut novel is the starting point in what looks to be a fantasy lover’s dream.
With the first ‘story,’ fans are introduced to a group of young boys from the village of Quendal; they are gearing up for a quest that the wizard, Zyll, has sent them on in order to find the “Rock of Ivanore.” Their success or failure will be the deciding factor in the rest of their lives - whether or not they will live an honorable existence, or a life of menial labor in the small village.
One of the boys is fourteen-year-old Marcus Frye, who is the wizard’s apprentice. This will be his first quest and he’s extremely nervous about it, especially since the wizard has been trying to teach him magic and it’s not worked out all that well. His ‘friends’ along this journey are Jerrid, Zody, Clovis, Tristan and Kelvin - and each character is as interesting as the one before.
Finding the ‘Rock,’ is the only thing they care about. Of course, they have hardly anything to go on. The wizard just tells them to find it but offers no information on what it is or where it can be found - thus magic and intuition are the only things at the boys’ disposal. (As well as a walking stick named, “Xerxes,” but I can reveal no spoilers).
Along the way they meet many friends and foes who are also, coincidentally, on their own mission to find Ivanore. Strange, exotic locations appear where the boys must learn about their own strengths and weaknesses. As they approach the city where they believe the ‘Rock’ is located, the boys are thrust into a loathsome plot to take over the city.
Like the ‘best of the best’ from the 1980s, this book harkens back to a time period where dragons, Cyclops, half-breeds, etc. come along to help and/or hinder the progress of the small warriors - and the word ‘swashbuckling‘ is taken to a whole new level.
Quill Says: The action never stops, and you will be thrilled to wrap yourself up in a fantasy that does NOT wrap around a vampire. Enjoy!