One Realm Beyond, Realm Walkers Series, Volume 1
One Realm Beyond is the first book in the Realm Walkers series by Donita K. Paul. This story will capture your interest right from the beginning, and the characters were well done especially the unusual dragons. They were one of the best parts. At first, I didn't like how the author switched the main characters first person view. It came as a complete surprise to me, but I got used to it and ended up liking it. Also the story read so simply I was confused and had to double check that it was teen fiction! Even though it read like it was for a younger audience, I was able to enjoy the story and characters. This is a series that you will have to read in order as it is really one continuous story.
Cantor D'Ahma has been training to be a realm walker ever since he was a little tyke. At twenty he is finally ready to realm walker on his own, and his first stop is the dragon realm to find his dragon who will be his constant for life. Bridger is sure that he is the dragon Cantor is looking for, but Cantor is dismayed by him. Bridger isn't at all what he envisioned for his constant and is irritated that he keeps following him. Then he meets Bixby, another realm walker who excels at almost everything.
Bixby is an eccentric character with many talents and has been tutored by experts in many different fields. She meets Cantor and later Dukmee and they all have one destination in mind. Gilead. It's where they need to register with the Realm Walker Council, but it doesn't take them long to realize there is something fishy going on with the Guild. Why are all the realm walkers abusing the people? And why is everyone so afraid of the Guild?
As they study to pass the requirements to be a realm walker, they discover an evil plot. Can they stop it before thousands of people die?
This was an easy read full of lightheartedness with a dash of seriousness throughout. The story moved pretty slowly, but began to pick up near the end. I like the uniqueness of it and am looking forward to the next book. :-)
I was given this book free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
February 26, 2014
Magical YA Fantasy
This book was not in my usual genre of reads, but I certainly enjoyed it. When a dragon was sitting on CantorÃ¢ÂÂs chest in the first few pages, I knew that this book would be different. This is a coming-of-age story in which Cantor has a special gift in that he is able to travel to different realms through portals that are available only to Realm Walkers. Realm Walkers are supposed to be helpers, and defenders of justice, but Cantor and his companions learn that corruption is rampant among those ranks, and learning whom they can trust becomes critical.
This is a great fantasy read. I enjoyed reading about CantorÃ¢ÂÂs adventures, and I canÃ¢ÂÂt wait to find out what happens next!
I am thankful to have received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.
February 25, 2014
Best fantasy I've read in years
I really liked this novel. I think it is probably the best fantasy I've read in several years.
Cantor was born with the gift to walk between the worlds. Finally it is time. In his first journey through the portal to another realm, he is to find his dragon. Within a few minutes of being in the new world, he does meet a dragon Ã¢ÂÂ Bridger, a bumbling and inept dragon that insists he's the one for Cantor. But when Bridger almost sets himself on fire, Cantor is not so sure this is the one. He'll keep looking.
As Cantor travels, Bridger on his heels, he meets Bixby Ã¢ÂÂ in a tree. Bixby may become a realm walker. She's not sure. She has many other special gifts and Primen (God) has not yet identified her role.
Cantor and Bixby, Bridger following along, travel this realm. They are dismayed to learn that it is plagued with evil. Even the once noble Realm Walkers Guild is in danger. There are a few in the council who destroy the others to gain power. Cantor and Bixby, with the aid of Bridger and his sister, are in a race for time to save the guild.
I really liked this novel. Donita has created a world that is very real and believable. There are no hard to understand (and pronounce) characters or places. There are no strange customs or or animals (except dragons) or plants (except one that blows up).
The best part for me were the dragons. Bridger is a riot. He has a heart of gold but is such a bumbling dragon, I just had to laugh at him. And his sister, who agrees to be Bixby's dragon temporarily, loves to shop! Both of those dragons have character!
This is definitely my kind of fantasy novel. There are clearly identified good guys and bad guys. There are crazy shape shifting dragons. There are well developed characters. There is evil needing to be eradicated and two young people growing into the task. A great book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour.
February 18, 2014
Excellent fantasy for 5th grade and up . . .
Donita K. Paul returns with a new fantasy series aimed at middle school readers, filled with unforgettable characters (both human and dragon) in a battle of good vs. evil.
In One Realm Beyond, Cantor dÃ¢ÂÂAhma trained with an elderly mentor for the past twenty years. He is finally ready to begin his role as a realm walker, a protector and defender of the realms. His first step: find his dragon constant, but he is unprepared to bond with the first dragon he meets, especially since Bridger appears so inadequate. Cantor befriends Bixby, a female realm walker trainee, with colorful clothing and crowns. CantorÃ¢ÂÂs next assignment is to uncover the secrets of a corrupt Realm Walkers Guild and stop them before it is too late. Together they use their gifts to discover who can and cannot be trusted within the Guild.
Paul is an accomplished storyteller, taking her time to create a world where dragons are constants (similar to sidekicks for superheros), special gifts enable humans to perform their duties as realm walkers, and where good vs. evil is fought on a regular basis. The realms are the different worlds with portals that realm walkers use to travel between them.
Though it starts out slowly, One Realm Beyond engages the reader in the struggle facing Cantor as he progresses in his skills and puts his training to use. Bixby is an endearing character with her quirky ways, and Bridger appears an inept dragon when in fact, his gifts are equally important to Cantor. One Realm Beyond ends a bit abruptly and with a cliffhanger, but that may be a result of being book one in a trilogy.
February 18, 2014