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Monday, April 8, 2013

FarWorld: Water Keep (Book #1)


FarWorld: Water Keep (Book #1)

(Summary taken from the back book cover) "Even though thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas is confined to a wheelchair, he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place--Farworld. When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of the two worlds. But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass's secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld's only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elementals--water, land, air, and fire--and convince them to open a drift between the two worlds. As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them--Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S'Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers."

What a fun surprise! I hadn't heard anything about this book or series when I was asked to review them, and I'm glad I did! I really enjoyed this book, and I know my 4th and 5th graders will also enjoy it. They're already begging me to read it. Don't worry, I'll hand it over as soon as I finish my review. The book is written well. There are some fun and some scary surprises, and some interesting twists and turns. I think it flows well and is easy to read and understand. Some of the names are difficult to pronounce (Thrathkin S'Bae......take your guess at that one......), but it adds to the mystery and tension in the book. I liked the characters and thought Mr. Savage did a good job developing them, especially Marcus and Kyja. Master Therapass reminded me a lot of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. He can be quirky and fun and magicky (yes, I just made up that word.....), yet he can also be serious and get down to business. He is very protective of his two young friends. I liked how Mr. Savage tied in each of the character's pasts, and how they fit together. Marcus and Kyja are so young, but they work together and accomplish some great things. I like that although each of them has a "disability," they work hard to overcome their shortcomings and use ingenuity to discover new ways of doing things. I like that they are both strong characters. The villans in this book are scary, to say the least. Huge snakes are not my idea of fun, and I hope I never meet anyone named Bonesplitter.

Although scary and somewhat violent in parts, this book is clean. There is no language and no intimacy. There is violenc (bullying and fighting against some evil characters). It's not too gory or disgusting. It's about the level of the Percy Jackson books. I really enjoyed this book and do recommend it with the above warnings.

Rating: PG+ (Some violence: bullying and fighting and some evil characters)

Recommendation: 4th grade and up. I am a lot older than 4th grade and I enjoyed it, so I think it has elements that older age groups will enjoy as well.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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