Avalonia: The Three Realms by Ashley Kate Simmons

5/10 Has potential but doesn't know its target audience.

Lily is an average teenage girl who finds herself drawn into a world filled with beings only heard of in myths and legends. Faeries, Vampires and Werewolves both good and bad, successively living (or un-living) by day and night. Working as only they know. A prophecy is to be fulfilled a prophecy from old, a prophecy for only one girl. But, in this world of great divide where the prophecy has begun to cause unrest between night and day, in the shadows and in the sunlight, who will conquer? With the world in jeopardy and only solidarity in favour, will Lily survive or will the dark enclose Avalonia, forever?

When I first encountered Avalonia I thought it was a novel aimed at older children or young adults but after finishing it I would have to say that it is arguably more fitted to an adult audience. Featuring a teenage girl named Lily and following her adventures in a mythical realm I understood what it was Simmons was trying to achieve with her story - and she did indeed write a decent tale - but for me there were a few too many problems.

What first drew me to Avalonia was the concept, with Avalonia being a realm divided into three parts: Faery, Vampire and Werewolf, and then subdivided into a day and night realm with the “good” ruling the day and the “bad’ ruling the night.  The story itself is well written and there are scenes in the book that would fit perfectly into any children's fairy tale book - these I was most impressed with and they demonstrated that Simmons does have the potential to write a really good book but then the style would suddenly change and I would be confronted with an adult-scene of romancing vampires - I'm afraid that this really put me off and spoiled my enjoyment of the book as I just didn't find it fitting.

The plot itself is ambitious but I felt that it suffered from too little emphasis and that the story felt a little rushed. In summary I would say that the problem I found with Avalonia was that  it is neither an adult fantasy book nor a children's fantasy book, it fluctuates between the two and as such is problematic for both audiences. I think that if Simmons aimed the book purely at either camp then the result would be a major improvement as the world of Avalonia certainly has potential.

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