Ennara and the Fallen Druid by Angela Myron
(Pub: Patchwork Press, 2014)
**I was provided with a copy of this by the publisher for review**
Ennara and the Fallen Druid is a fast paced MG (8-12yo) fantasy adventure. Myron has a carefully crafted, well-constructed story here with everything children this age bracket will probably want – action, adventure, wizards, dark magicians, magical creatures and dashes of humour. There is a great balance between description and action so that the world and story are easy to visualise while maintaining pace. This would be an excellent introduction to the fantasy genre for younger readers.
Ennara is one of few children to be born with a caul over her face. This caul is said to occur on babies who become particularly gifted magic wielders. Though Ennara has commenced her studies in magical lore with her aunt, she has not practiced using magic and has no idea just what her skills are – let alone whether they will be special in anyway.
The wizard Tork requests that Ennara accompany him on his journey to find a way to stop the Shadespawn – evil creatures who were once human. (Increasing numbers of Shadespawn roam the land infecting those they scratch or bite.)
She gains young companions along the way- Kithe and Gevin. Kithe is her long-time friend who plays the slightly goofy sidekick. Gevin is a new acquaintance who is quiet and serious. Ennara is initially uncertain in her own abilities and frightened by the dangers that face them. In fact each of the children has their own vulnerabilities, which is something I enjoyed about their character construction. There are some cool magical creatures good and evil along the way – keep your eye out for Smoos!
There are great messages about self-belief, teamwork, trust and honesty in this story, but above all it is a rollicking adventure.
The book starts dramatically with Ennara running for her life from a Shadespawn and the pace doesn’t let up until the end – there are no dull bits in this story whatsoever.