The Dream Walker, Land of Mystica Series Volume 1 by Michelle Lee Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
World of fantasy is a strange world. It is the world where improbable becomes probable. It is the world where imagination and reality peacefully coexists and they live happily ever after. It is the world where magic and supernatural thrives- but always ultimately is used for the benefit of the good. And oh yes-I nearly forgot to mention in the land of fantasy the good always ultimately wins over the evil. That’s why the orphan girl gets the prince as his husband- the prince slew the demon to regain his kingdom. It is the world where a rabbit can easily speak-not only speak but put up some philosophical questions to put even a scholarly mind into jeopardy.
That is why we are all at absolute love with fantasy. We can observe our internal wishes to come alive in the story. That’s why fantasy stories did have a psychological appeal to the old and young alike and will probably continue to have towards the end of genesis.
From that viewpoint The Dream Walker (Land of Mystica series Volume 1) is a story as precious as a pearl. Not because every ingredients of a successful fantasy are present inside but also the author is a professional storyteller-she has to tell the story day and night to her two very young twins. Never the imagination of a mother can be bypassed by a professional writer who does not have the practical experience of venturing into the psychological kingdom of the young mind. That’s why people like J. K. Rowling always ultimately win.
We have enough of critical discussions. Let for the time being focus on the story. The story begins with enough suspense. A small boy- Mortimer-and a very curious too-living in the palace of the king of Mystica finds a stone-a black polished stone-as plain as a mirror-as black as a moonless night. At the first chapter we will not have any clue what the stone is all about. And it will not be unjust to say that for the later part of the story this boy will have very limited scope in building the story. This is another feature of the writing of Michelle is that she has created lots of characters –but most of them have very limited role in the development of the story. They just came like actors in a stage- performed their role-and then have their exits-and then never reappear again. The good effect of such a style is that it does not crumple the young mind with unnecessary complexity- straightforward characters give the mind the sheer joy of reading.
Again let us return to the main story. Writer took us to past days when there were wizards who controlled the land of Mystica. And one of the wizards became super powerful-started dreaming of controlling the other wizards and stole a spell book from the temple of the Sun God. But somehow he angered the god. Instead of controlling the magic power of the wizards-he found himself entrapped into a stone along with other wizards. And continued to remain so for days beyond count, till his soul was set free, by the little boy.
Immediately it became a concern for Mystica . The wise ruler started finding ways to combat with the situation. The wizard might not only create trouble for the administration. But also his boundless ambition can spell doomsdays for the throne. And found that Dream walkers can only set things right for the whole kingdom.
What is dream Walker? How can it solve his problem? While these questions were troubling the king, a simple down to earth girl Miranda was discovering a truth of herself that she started to feel. She discovered she is a keeper of an ancient magic and she is the abode of the problem of the king.
Journey does come as an almost inevitable part of most of the fantasy stories –and this story is not an exception. Miranda set out on a journey- with extraordinary creatures like walking bear-came across wonders and magnificent- and ultimately…….
Michelle had made writing seems to be a painting. Let us take an example from her journey
‘At a frozen waterfall that seemed out of place in the cave, Miranda stopped so suddenly, Walking Bear almost ran right into her. The waterfall seemed as if it was suspended in time. Its beauty and flawlessness awed them. Miranda felt tried and hungry. Yet, something about the waterfall drove her on. She lifted her axe from her side and started to pick at the wall behind the waterfall. She almost found guilty for destroying the beauty of the place. Walking Bear sat down on little edge next to the cave wall.’
Writer has a eye for minute details. Her narrations are simple yet ornate. And her creation of a wondrous world where myth, reality, legends all coalesces makes it a cherished treasure for the target age group.
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The review was done courtesy to the copy provided by the writer in association with Word Slinger Publicity
Saltwater Secrets, Book 1: Song of the Sea by Jade Varden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
She had never ever imagined in her wildest dream that her school project work assignment can get so far-have effects that would change her life forever.
They have to execute a project on their family history-find an artifact and write a paper on it-its history, how has it shaped their family tradition. And to add a realistic touch to it-to ensure that anybody does not fabricate anything-they have to bring the artifact to the class and give a lecture on it.
So she tried to find odds and ends from the attic-looking for the old valuable something that will suddenly make their family history alive. She is happy –as handsome Luke is assisting her-her classmate on which she has a secret crush! It all seemed dream to her-his shoulder touching hers-he is so near that he can easily smell her perfume.
Does he have the same feeling towards her-or not? Her mind was swinging like a pendulum –between yes or no that she completely forgot to concentrate on the search. So handsome Luke has to take the pioneer’s role in the search and eventually they had found what they were looking for. An animal skin-folded-too thin to be considered a seal skin-but eventually they agreed that it the jewel they were looking for-it must be a seal skin and it represent the family history of fishing!
Alas! If she knew what would follow or what it is in reality then she would never had touched it-leave alone getting happy after finding it!
Song of the Sea-book 1 of the multi volume Saltwater Secrets by Jade Varden is a young adult story of fantasy that has drawn its material from the Irish and Scottish legends. It is the kind of a story where the plot alone is capable of imparting a magnetic attraction to the readers-albeit the fact that the starting point of the story is predictable-in complete harmony with the Irish folklore. However as the story progresses –it gains momentum-and eventually turns into perpetual motion-where no outside force is necessary to move it.
Brenna never really understood the reason for her mother being so sad-why she always looked to the sea with deep melancholy. Her father loved her lovely wife-then why she? She had a hint after she had returned from the house of handsome Luke-laughing, enjoying and making merry-the day when her world went upside down! The entire house was dark-and nobody was there until she found her mother standing on the shore of the great ocean
‘Her black hair was whipping wildly in the wind, slapping against her pale cheeks and necks. The lantern threw odd shadows on her face, keeping her eyes hidden. all I could see was her bright smile, so full of happiness it seemed out of place in the middle of the dark, chilly night . the sweet serenade of the waves, which had enchanted me while I was with Luke, had turned into an angry roar……she was holding something in her hand ,a piece of cloth maybe. ‘
She bade Brenna adieu and then jumped to the darkness of the ocean. Brenna was so dumbstruck that she forgot to respond. And what would have been her next reaction? Frantically she asked her father to call coast guard, to take initiative to rescue her. She does not know swimming-and she jumped. But her father-surprisingly did not move an inch. Rather she told Brenna the entire story of her mother-a story where reality and myth coalesces!
She was informed that her mother was not human-but a selkie! She is a creature about whom she had only read in folklores-and would have never believed if she had not seen her mother. Slowly the mystery of the behavior of her mother started to get cleared up before her. She never loved the soil-never in her life. Water was her home-and would continue to be her home. Only her father had taken her skin-the so called seal skin Brenna has found after so many years –without which she could have never returned to her home. Now she has it and returned to the kingdom of blue-where she really belonged.
Brenna was determined that she will find her mother once again. She will not let her leave her loving daughter like that. So she took a boat and sailed to the depth of the ocean. it is an adventure that will steal the greener minds-an adventure that will provide wings to the younger minds. Soon she finds amidst a storm-a devastating storm that destroys her boat and threw her to an inhabited island. There he made Dylan-who raised a lot of questions in her minds. And it eventually turned out that Dylan too is not human-but a merman-like her mother-who is a selkie after all. And the two species are at battle for years over the ownership of the ocean. Jade had provided a description of the civilization of the selkies and the merfolks that will easily make readers imagine the colorful splendor of the residents of the underwater-with all its glory-like take the description of Brenna’s first glimpses of the city of the legendary mermaids-
‘ Vepota was surrounded by a tall wall of spikes that formed a perfect circle around the collection of building at the centre that was also circular in shape. The domed ceiling was surrounded by columns. Other buildings were constructed of stone, brick, or wood that looked to be salvaged from ships. All were tall and rounded in shape, some very intricate in design. One building was a series of round circles that extended up over the top of the wall. The wall was almost too bright to look at. It was all lit up, and responsible for the purple glow that painted everything so pretty.’
She soon found herself amid a bloody and fierce battle-a battle so savage that the fighting races are not caring for any principle. It is only a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye. Only the fittest will survive in this struggle. Now the question is will she be successful in her quest?
After finishing the book I was thinking that the writer has made an eye opener for the readers. Since the dawn of humanity we are fighting like mad Max- brother with brother, race with race, nation with nation, religion with religion. Have we ever tried to think even once-why are we fighting? What will we get after so many bloodbaths?
Probably it is the question of Jade to the generation who will script tomorrow’s history.
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the dragon of the month club by Iain Reading
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
They are voyaging on the blue ocean- the endless ocean-like Columbus did years ago.
There is a slight difference though- the sailors were about tom rebel against the great sailor- and the pets of our protagonists are as loyal as it can be.
If such adorable pets are available, who will need a dog?
There are some minor differences though- two kids are cruising on that journey- on the back of their pet- happily flapping its wings to propel through the water.
A cool ambiance is prevailing on air and on sea.
They are yet to discover that in a few moments the environment will be completely different. A hungry pair of jaws with sharp teeth will target them-as if a ship has been targeted by a submarine. Its periscope eyes are measuring their location- it is getting thirsty- thirsty of blood- it is getting hungry-hungry for the taste of raw meat.
A sea monster perhaps? Well, you are almost right.
Any shore is on sight?
The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading – is the first of the multi volume series of the adventures of Ayana and Taylor in a land of fantasy is a classic tale that combines imagination and reality to produce an absorbing tale. It is a book that presents the scope of imagination and thought to the target readership-the greener generation-the young adults. Here the protagonists had not fallen to the wonderland through the rabbit hole- but their entry into a fantasy-land is not less dramatic than that of little Alice!
Ayana was new to her school and like every kid she has adjusting problems with the new school mates- particularly when there is an arrogant girl like Heather to deal with. It is just adding insult to injury-because she is already shocked with her new place
“She almost cried when she first saw it-everything as flat as a pancake instead of the towering beautiful Rocky Mountains she was used to. Dusty and dry instead of lush green rain-forests and pen blue sea. Small and boring instead of endless possibilities.”
Then come Heather and her gang-who does not appear to have slightest respect for the human dignity. It is like a favourite pastime to pull her legs. When you show no resistance, the magnitude of aggression increases. They got them one day with her world of imagination-a world of her own where she writes about the fierce sea monsters, fearless heroes……
They threw Ayana’s notebook to the water…
It was a complete emotional breakdown for the little kid- but to a kid who has just stepped into her adolescence- showing her tears to public is shameful. So she did exactly that what kids of her age will prefer to do-hide her tears and harbor to a safe haven to make her at ease with this brutal, heartless, unresponsive world.
Who can avoid fates of destiny? There she meets Tyler- who will change the future of their life-
“The boy blushed some more and shifted his feet nervously.
‘I am Tyler’ he said, nervously sticking out his hand toward Ayana.
Ayana giggled again and scooted forward, reaching up to formally shake his hand.
‘Ayana’ she said as she slid her cold hand into his warm one and shook it.
And with that strangely formal and awkward introduction began a very unlikely friendship.’
A very unlikely friendship where both started to share their emotions- two introvert children sharing their own worlds of imagination-where impossible one is possible. And one day they found THE BOOK that will always be etched deep inside their mind into capitalization.
Why? What’s so special about the book?
Because it describes-‘how to conjure your very own dragon in six easy steps.’
you do not have to rub your eyes-what you are seeing is true- assembling a dragon full of life out of lifeless materials-and some movements of the hands. They started with the most easiest-assembling water dragon. Their first attempt proved futile, second attempt too……
Well-it was sheer magic of description that will cruise you to the kingdom of imagination. Here logic is blended with imagination, legend is fused with history, science and philosophy goes in parallel tracks.
surprising twists in the story-line will lead you with our protagonists to the kingdom of wonders- before that story will speed up in the speed of a bullet train-encounter with their first dragon, mystery in the book, mailing to unknown destination, getting the membership of mysterious dragon club……………
Too much for the little head to bear-but the narration makes it really a surprise package. But it is just the tip of the iceberg- the climax of the beginning comes from their entry into the land of mystery.
surprisingly they found everything is linked to the little world of their own-where the ocean blue of the bed sheet has been transformed into an ocean of reality-and the countless islands with only one palm trees depicted into the bed sheet has been taken their physical form.
Wonder of wonders – books read by Tyler sneaked form his mind into the physical world. it is a strange world where they travel through space to the planet of Arrakis- where creepy sand-worms as huge as an express train roams- where the human has to wear a suit to filter their discharges into usable water –and where everything ends in a biggest surprise that is eternal companion of human psychology. just like fairy tales of thousand and one Arabian nights- when the protagonists are in danger or in dire need of performing some impossible trick-a new dragon is assembled by them to make impossible possible.
Not space travel-time travel is permitted by them. They discover themselves in the London of late 19th century- a London of Sherlock Holmes. They come to the city where mysterious silhouette moves shrouded in thick fog- where every suspect wears a mask. In this mysterious city Tyler actually helps Holmes to solve mysteries.
They found themselves among many an adventure-throughout their entire journey. but like a pearl from all adventures- I am lured to quote a narration after their encounter with a Chinese wise man
“The only illumination came from an array of dozens upon dozens of brightly colored paper lanterns that were burning brightly and floating on strings throughout the courtyard….like restless wild horses, the lanterns were tugging and pulling on the strings that tied them to earth, trying to get away and fly freely into the night sky.”
This part of the story has a very important role in the plot-but it is a secret.
And will they be free from the magic spell? Will they again set foot on the soil of the earthy world they are more familiar with-where giant hands with scissors will not run after them?
Well-imagine and fly high above the ground of reality- because this book will give you compound eye like a fly.
Eyes that will create a haven of your own.
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If you think it is a tale of imagination and fantasy-well, then it is true. If you think it is a story book for kids –well, you are right to some extent. But more than that, it is a story that has some deeper inner meanings. In the form of the story the writer has told about the whole human kind and our endless quest for the creatures to come from outside. He satirically told about the human nature-nature that does not allow us to step outside. Then some day something extraordinary does happen- and we get the gift of our lifetime.
From this perspective-The gift of the Quoxxel by Richards Titus has much on offer as a surprise package for the reader-then just the storyline.
Here things are done in exactly the same way as had been done a thousand years ago. Here the wheels of the progress have suddenly forgotten to move on. Nothing changes here- nothing new comes here.
Welcome to the fascinating island of Nibb.
Where the king Norr signals the end of the working day with a cavemous yawn! Where the king imagines that change will come soon- but is he prepared for the same? When Yill comes in his kingdom, the scholars scratch their head to determine thinking day and night-getting perplexed- to determine what species it is? And the king-well ,he can only discuss what lies beyond his island with the Yill- who has traveled through many lands and seen many people.
“As annoying as it was, Yill was right. He was the only one with whom Norr could discuss his interest. He couldn’t speak to his wife about it. She refused to acknowledge it. His parents had always discouraged it. As Nibb’s Royal family, they maintained the traditional attitude that nothing of important lay beyond their shores. It was even considered an aberration to speak of such things,”
Nothing comes here –it is all the same in the land. The inventor-Hinkus has invented curioscilator-for watching the inward and outward movement from the island, but where is the movement? His endless quest continues, what he ends up doing is taking meals-and meals and then sleeping –and then resting!
The inventor comes with a marveling invention- Haddock that will make your sleep a perfect sleep. The satirical language of thee writer makes us laugh- and at the same time makes us think
“There won’t be any haddock with this” The scientist assured “It’s absolutely foolproof.”
‘Hmm” Norr suspected otherwise’ Are you saying I am the fool to prove it.”
Then came the change in the form of a Splash of shower, to the island. A little girl as a welcome relief to the land-much to the delight of the queen and the king- her singing was like the orchestra of life.
The king has a gift indeed- that was the most cherished, most sought after. What was the gift? Will his desire of change be fulfilled?
The story suddenly gets a new dimension from there-it is no longer a kid’s story. in the form of a fantasy adventure and sometimes in the form of a literary nonsense- it imposes deeper meanings to the life.
Suddenly we can feel that we are at the same boat with the king- we are all sharing the same thinking.
Three dimensional illustrations offer whole new imperatives to the flow of the story.
After finishing the review I looked up at the sky. The sky is cloudy. Perhaps the sign of a storm….
Storm is a messenger of change-is not it?
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