The Prophecy Keepers by Melaine Bryant
Review by Floresiensis
There is an ancient legend in the memories of the humans of Niwengeard, that a time will come when Darkness will fall upon the kingdoms of Earde and one will rise who threatens all species. It has been foretold that at this time, a Gifted human child possessing the powers of the magical races-the empyreals-will be born to lead a revolution against the Darkness. But this memory is hazy, like the memories of the beginning of time, of the Creators, of the First and Second Destructions, and even of the empyreal races who share the humans’ world. So when a fairy named Rædan appears before fourteen-year-old Lisandra Ackart and tells her that the time of the Third Destruction has begun and that she is the Gifted One, she doesn’t believe him. When a series of strange events leaves her hundreds of miles from home, Lisandra is thrust unwillingly into the heart of an epic struggle that has spanned millennia, a conflict between the races of the Dark and the races of the Light. Now that struggle is nearing its end, and Lisandra must find the twenty-three Keepers of the ancient Prophecy, each of whom holds a single piece of the key to saving Earde from the Darkness. But first she must find a way to stop the Dark Queen, Lucifæra-who the Light Ones believe is behind the sudden disappearance of thousands of fairies-and her mysterious hexagonal charm.
The Prophecy Keepers is the first in a series of five fantasy books written for young adults by highly promising new author Melaine Bryant. The story covers five months in the life of Lisandra Ackart; five months that see her embark on a journey of discovery and magical adventure that will delight and thrill readers in equal measure. The opening chapters of The Prophecy Keepers are excellent: the scene is set; the characters introduced and the story begins to unfold with admirable patience.
The main character is Lisandra, a fourteen-year-old girl with red hair and hidden powers. She is an endearing lead and ably supported by the esteem-seeking (but extremely loveable) Arethus and the dryad Æscere. It was the dialogue between Arethus and Æscere that really worked for me; they had a great chemistry, constantly bickering and scoring points of each other. The Prophecy Keepers is written in the third person with the narrative mainly following Lisandra on her adventures but this style also allows us to know what is going on many miles away where Lucifæra, and her evil minions, are up to no good.
As Lisandra ran after Loki between the two trees, her surroundings changed. The air became much cooler, and the trees grew taller and closer together. She found herself in the midst of a lush forest on an overgrown path that sloped steadily upward. She looked around slowly. There was no sign of the goblins and Loki, or of Eladri. Something was wrong. This was not Cruland or any other place that she recognized. So where on Earde was she? And more importantly-how had she gotten there?
This is an excellent book, very well written, but what I liked most about it was how the author not only pours all off her inspirations into the story but does so in such a way that it will leave the reader wanting to find out more about the influences mentioned. Edmund Spencer, Homer, William Butler Yeats, Pliny the Elder and William Blake are all referred to and credited - throw in a healthy helping of Norse, Greek and Arabic mythology and you have a feast to whet the appetite of any budding fantasy reader/writer. The most impressive thing of all is the way in which Bryant has managed to bring all of this together in a way that not only works but also is extremely easy to read.
Eadgar Kaynard had never been an excessive man, but here he was at the dinner table, furiously stuffing food by the fistful into his mouth. He did not know why he was doing it, either. In fact, he did not necessarily want to be doing it. But everything tasted so good, and he could not satisfy his hunger. The table was piled with food – roasted pig, two turkeys and a roast beef, six different types of potatoes and other vegetable dishes, and seven or eight fruit pies. Eadgar’s stomach bulged grotesquely, and his servants watched him with a mixture of horror and concern.
I think that Melaine Bryant reasons for writing this book was firstly to entertain and secondly to encourage readers to explore all the classic fantasy tales that have been around for, in some instances, hundreds of years. All the ingredients needed in a high fantasy novel are there; the heroine, the prophecy plus, of course, the quest. This delightfully constructed story reminded me somewhat of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, not so much in content, but in its style and how it read. I would not hesitate to recommend The Prophecy Keepers to adults, both young and old, who are looking for a great new fantasy series.
Cameron from United Kingdom
I have not read this book yet but it seems really interesting and amazing; I really like fantasy stories and have been a fan of them ever since my parents had read them to me. This book looks the most thrilling and challenging book that I have ever come across. I like books with magic, war and also children as the protagonists! I would rate this as an 8 as many people are saying this book sounds excellent.
Lauren from California
I love this book, and I thought it was great!
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