Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Review of Portals, Passages & Pathways by B.R. Maul

When a portal to another world cracks open just outside the small town of Riverside, it sets off a series of events forever changing the lives of two boys; one boy is chosen to lead a world to peace while the other one is chosen to tear it apart.

Simon Whittaker lives an ordinary teenage life until his best friend, Jessica Wells, and her family takes him on a last-minute camping trip. There, amongst towering pines, Jessica confesses a secret; her family has been watching over Simon his entire life because he is the key to another world’s salvation, and now someone has come from that world to kill him. Amidst a whirlwind of unanswered questions, doubt, and curiosity, Simon is given the Ring of Affinity and then is led through a magic portal into the land of Magnanthia.

In the faraway land that’s in the midst of a brutal war, Simon must place his life in the hands of a swordsman, ranger, cleric, and wizard sent to teach him how to wield the power in the Ring of Affinity and to help him become the next guardian of Magnanthia. The ring, Simon is told, has chosen him, a rare and honorable event. But no one knows why he was chosen.

Meanwhile, the once peaceable king of Magnanthia, King Elderten, has ordered death to Magnanthia’s nine guardians, the nine he helped to assemble and now believes is responsible for the death of his queen and the kingdom’s devastation. If he can stay alive long enough, Simon will become the first guardian of Magnanthia to be chosen by the Ring of Affinity, instead of appointed by mere men. Simon remains the only hope for those who believe the guardians are innocent.

Jak Jakobsin, another teenager from Earth, has been pulled through a portal by two of Bedlam’s demented soul seers sent to capture Simon. The soul seers were impressed with what they saw in Jak, so they offer him up to the overlord. Jak is given the ultimatum, do or die. Obsessed with his discovery of magic spells, power, and control, Jak quickly acclimates to his new environment. Bedlam’s overlord plans to use Jak, along with Bedlam’s undead army, to build a force so powerful that the great King Elderten will perish and Magnanthia will be his forever.

Prepare for a breathtaking climax as two different paths are set in motion. 

PORTALS, PASSAGES & PATHWAYS is a teen young adult novel that creatively combines fantasy fiction and real fiction like C. S. Lewis' beloved THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. It delves deep into an epic adventure in a fantasy world rich in magic and wondrous creatures, much like J. R. R. Tolkien's THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS. A must-read for any sword and sorcery fantasy fan!

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

This book started kind of slow for me at first, but as I kept reading I found myself thinking of the the book and getting excited for when I could read it some more. The characters are well developed and this book just makes you want to keep coming back for more. 

It begins in present day, which at first threw me off since I thought, "hey isn't this a fantasy book?" Once the characters go through the portals though, the fantasy world begins and the roller coaster ride continues! 

I also enjoyed how this book was written. They writing style fit the story nicely. There was just enough dialog to keep you going and enough description to paint the picture in your mind, but not overwhelm you. I never found myself skipping over some parts just to get to "the good part." It was all good!

While I think teens and middle grade readers would very much enjoy this book, I, a almost 30 yr old woman, thoroughly enjoyed this book as well. It's a great tale and totally worth reading!