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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kaylen's Rising - a strong debut novel!

Kaylen's Rising (Tomes of Taria, Book 1)Kaylen's Rising by Yves Robichaud
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclosure: Received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Kaylen's Uprising is a wonderful first novel geared towards the younger reader. Kaylen is a cave elf, living in the town of Caverna. He has never been outside of Caverna and has lived a very secluded life thanks to extreme pacifist parents who own a lovely flower shop. As Kaylen is finally granted his wish to be "normal" and go to school, albeit with a ton of restrictions from his parents, he learns that humans are at war with the elves. And that there are dwarves, trolls, ogres, and witches who are also targeted by the humans.

You learn of Kaylen's special powers, things he didn't know at all about himself. He is an instant outcast, but a patient and understanding one, able to put himself in other people's shoes.

The descriptions of various creatures and magics immediately put me in the mind of video games, much like the World of Warcraft or some such. From fire spells and lightning shields, giant scorpions and spiders, summoning of skeletons, etc. You have healers and knights and mages/wizards and archers. It is quite the vivid world.

There are a few things that fell short for me. The dialogues seemed choppy, but something I could imagine would be easy to read to or along with a younger child. In the breadth of a sentence you have a couple characters who go from extremely angry and volatile to calm and reasonable. I would've liked more on Mirdan the jeweler and his past, a few more moments with Kaylen's parents to explain his father's rage and his mother's simpering, maybe more in the schooling section so that the characters can develop a stronger relationship with one another instead of leaping into the adventures. The adventures were good and had a great amount of tension that you would expect when given such quests. I thought the author handled that very nicely.

I'd read more of Kaylen and his adventures and see how his friends progress and if peace will be upheld between Caverna and Taria's humans! I really liked that Kaylen immediately found a friend in Turin and their camaraderie! I look forward to seeing how their friendship strengthens as they both develop more and more skills, fighting for Caverna!

This novel would be perfect to read to your youngster or read along with them; an adventurous, fun tale with likeable characters

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