Thursday, 19 February 2015

Scarlet and the Keepers of Light

Author: Brandon Charles West
Genre: Fantasy, Children's
Type: Kindle e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Manor Minor Press
First Published: October 22, 2014
First Line: "Unfolding his glimmering wings, the little man flew cautiously toward the cave, the faint luminescence that clung to his body dimly lighting the dirt and roots around the entrance."

Book Description from GoodReads:  Perhaps it's the fact that her puppy has grown to be twice the size of a normal German Shepherd and has started talking. Perhaps it's that mysterious evil figures are searching everywhere for her and her family, intent on ending her life. Or perhaps it's the fact that Scarlet Hopewell has just learned that she is one half of a prophecy that will decide the fate of two worlds-one that she didn't even know existed. Whatever the reason, Scarlet Hopewell is having a very interesting year. The barrier that separates the magical and non-magical worlds is breached and Scarlet is caught right in the middle. With an ancient wolf who she thought was her family dog, a wizened old Tounder (the elder of the Keepers of the Light), and her family, Scarlet will embark on a great adventure to learn how to wield magical power beyond her wildest imagination. But time is running out. An evil is rising in the south, and he too will amass powers equal or greater to her own-and he has a head start. Before the end, her world will be destroyed, and the only hope for those that remain is Scarlet Hopewell.

Disclaimer:  My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Manor Minor Press for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review:  I went into this book not knowing too much about it other than it was a fantasy read for younger readers and the fact that the book description piqued my interest.  While I'm not an avid reader of the fantasy genre I really enjoy books that blend a magical world living in tandem with our own.

I feel that this book would be great for tweens (and possibly even early teens).  The story line isn't overly simplistic and yet not hard to follow either and even though this book has its share of dark forces and action scenes later on in the book, they didn't feel too graphic for a younger audience.  That said, this book didn't feel like it had as many deep layers to it as other books, such as Harry Potter.  

What Scarlet and the Keepers of Light does have is an engaging gaggle of fantasy creatures including winged creatures, talking animals, dwarves and even an evil prince t'boot.  I have to say that the secondary story involving this evil prince was the highlight of the book for me.

This book has a strong family feel to it and a moral tone which I liked.  Scarlet is very family oriented and not the cliched teen who is only interested in finding a love interest.  Instead she's portrayed as a girl who learns just how strong she truly is as she focuses on on saving her family and the new world that she's only recently found out about.  With the inclusion of Scarlet's bond with her father, this book had a wonderful family feel to it.

My only issue with this book is that the first part of the book could have used more energy.  I realize that it was focusing on introducing the reader to this new world and it was cool learning about these winged creatures and talking animals but it felt a little flat until the action takes off in the second half of the book and the energy of the book revs up big time.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book that takes the reader into a new fantasy realm and would be great for tweens who enjoyed the Narnia series.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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