The Obelisk Of Ashmar by Colin R Parsons

A tale of wizards, magic, battles and friendship.
The Obelisk Of Ashmar book cover

Since the defeat of Evilan, Wizards’ Kingdom has lived in peace under the benevolent rule of Zendal. Until now… Zendal’s beloved stallion, Shim, has been stolen and an evil foreboding once again fills the wizard’s heart. Along with his fellow wizards, Crasmont and Mydar, and with assistance from old friends and new, Zendal must set out for the Obelisk of Ashmar, to fight an unknown enemy in bid to rescue Shim. But will the wizard’s magic amulets be enough to keep them safe, as they encounter the witches of Caylan, vicious Kites and brutal Seekers, on their journey towards a deadly battle with evil? The Obelisk of Ashmar continues the adventures of the Wizards of Wizards’ Kingdom and their friend Loof the Catchet. Once again, their skills, spells and team spirit are called upon to save the day, and this time the safety of the whole kingdom is at stake!

I read a chapter of The Obelisk of Ashmar to my daughter every night. Although she is only two years old and too young follow the plot (the book is written for keystage1 and keystage2) I was interested to see how the book sounded when read out aloud. I must say that it read well and my daughter listened and repeated words and phrases that she recognised and I, as the parent, found the experience relaxing and rewarding. I thoroughly enjoyed The Obelisk of Ashmar, the author intends his trilogy to be a pre-cursor that allows the younger reader to enjoy epic fantasy before moving onto the works of Tolkien. He has certainly succeeded.

Parsons keeps the narrative simple and clean and I liked the way that he introduces new and bigger words that will leave the reader reaching for a dictionary (or asking a parent) to establish an understanding of the word. Parson’s does not speak down to the reader and although good and evil are clearly defined there are, as in the first book, shades of gray. My favourite moment in the book was when Loof the Catchet woke up to find himself in Fettle Forrest:

“The forest consisted of huge towering Menta trees that would easily have measured level against the size of the stone towers of Spellock Castle. Plate’s hut was situated on a grassy bank and tunnelled back into the ground, its entrance blending into the forest landscape. It lay hidden next to a particularly high Menta whose branches kept the hut shaded against the harsh weather. Loof was astounded as he gazed at the almost invisible hut.”
The Obelisk of Ashmar: The Imps of Fettle Forrest

Young readers will find The Wizards’ Kingdom a great deal of fun to read and I also believe that reading these books will lead to an improved vocabulary and love of the fantasy genre. If you are looking for a tale of wizards, magic, battles and friendship then this series of books is just for you.

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