Crusader: An Exciting Conclusion

Crusader by Sara Douglas is the sixth book in The Wayfarer Redemption series. By this time, the demons have come through the Stargate and wreaked havoc on Tencendor. All people and animals not affected by the demons have been taken to Sanctuary, but how long will they be safe there? Drago (now Dragonstar) must still have his ultimate showdown with Qeteb, the leader of the demons, while making sure the people remain safe.

Dragonstar can’t do it alone. Faraday and his other “angels” must face the other demons, and Axis, who still hates his second son, must help to make his way easier. Meanwhile, Wolfstar enlists the help of a traitor to scheme against them.

Read Crusader to find the surprising ending of this final conflict. As always, it will be an exciting journey with Sara Douglas at the helm. You won’t be sorry.

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – A Prequel Worth Watching

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a Netflix animated fantasy series, a prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson movie Dark Crystal, from Jim Henson Creature Shop. The story involves the creatures of the planet Thra, mainly the heroic Gelflings and the evil Skeksis overlords. The Skeksis guard the crystal which gives life to Thra, but what the Gelflings don’t know is that the Skeksis have been draining “essence” from the crystal to extend their own lives.

The series starts out with Gelfling Rian witnessing the Skeksis drain the essence from his friend to replenish the crystal. Unfortunately, since the Skeksis are treated like gods, Rian cannot get anyone to believe him. Luckily, two Gelflings from other classes (similar to tribes or castes), Deet and Brea, have made discoveries which lead them to the knowledge that the Skeksis are evil. The three meet up and go on a quest to (1) convince other people of what they know and (2) defeat the Skeksis.

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is delightful in the way only a production form the Jim Henson world can be. The puppets are very lifelike, with facial expressions that look so human you can’t help but emphasize with them. The voices include Mark Hamilton of Star Wars and Lara Headley of Game of Thrones, along with other well-known actors, which only makes it better.

Two caveats: (1) Although the series mostly kept me engaged, there was an occasional plot point which seemed much too obvious; (2) This show may be too dark for kids. I was shocked when a character saw his friend murdered in front of him in the first episode.

That being said, I enjoyed it a great deal. At times, the Skeksis are quite funny, and the Pollings, a third type of creature, are adorable, especially Hup, who joins the Gelflings on their journey. I highly recommend this show.

Stone of Farewell

Stone of Farewell is the second book in the series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams. At the beginning of the book, Simon and Binabek the troll are still in the land of the Qanuc but know that they cannot stay there much longer. They must leave and make the treacherous trip to the Stone of Farewell, though they do not know what they will find there. Meanwhile, the influence of the Storm King continues to spread winter throughout the land and try and stop Simon’s little band.

Elsewhere, Prince Josua struggles to make his way to a place of safety as do other people made homeless by the fight between Josua and his brother King Elias. In addition, the four surviving members of the League of the Scroll search for each other in order to complete their mission.

An epic unto itself, Stone of Farewell will engage you. Williams’ magnificent writing carries you along as the heroes meet obstacle after obstacle. Adventure, suspense, and humor combine to make this a truly wonderful book.

The Dragonbone Chair: A Winner From Tad Williams

The Dragonbone Chair is a fantasy novel by Tad Williams from the 1990’s, the first book in the series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The book centers on a struggle between a new king and his brother, in which other rulers and nobles have chosen sides. It’s not an unusual story except for the fact that one of them is engaged in strange mystical goings-on led by an ancient race.

Much of the action centers on a kitchen boy named Simon. Though he is low on ambition and high on mischief, he gets thrown into a series of quests by simply doing the right thing. He is helped in these quests by Bibabek, a member of a dwarfish race referred to as trolls, who rides a wolf called Qantaqa. Simon also finds assistance from a different ancient race known for hating mortals, again by simply doing the right thing.

Tad Williams is an excellent writer that will keep you turning pages into the night. Although the plot is complex and his descriptions sometimes lengthy, this book will keep your attention. It is followed by Stone of Farewell, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.

The Gray Wolf Throne: Entertainment For All

The Gray Wolf Throne is the third book in Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series. Princess Raisa ana’ Marianna has left the school at Ogden’s Ford where she hid after running away from a forced marriage the previous year. She must get home because her claim to the throne of the Fells is at stake, and possibly the line itself. But she is being pursued by assassins. Although her mother’s Captain of the Guard finds her to help her get home, her way is still not easy. Also trying to find her is Han Alister, one-time gang chief and now student in wizardry at Ogden’s Ford. He fell in love with Raisa when she was under the guise of Rebecca Morley and has no idea she is a princess.

Raisa’s main goals are to solidify her place as heir apparent, deal with conspiracies abounding in the capital, and find out who is trying to kill her. She is particularly distrustful of the wizard family Bayer, who seek power, and have tried to influence her mother and her sister.

Han is on his own journey. He wants to support the woman he loves, but can’t reconcile his love for Rebecca Morley with the royals he blames for his family’s death.

A real page-turner, The Gray Wolf Throne will keep you captivated. It’s A Game of Thrones for teens, but all will enjoy it.