Saturday, July 26, 2008

Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage

Thirteen year old Marcus Kanenas has always been tormented because he lives his life in a wheel chair. Everyone sees him as an outcast, even though he really is a survivor and dreamer and he just wishes that he could escape his life as an orphan. In an attempt to escape Marcus creates a world in his head. Here animals talk and tell jokes, trees have personality, and best of all magic fills the air. He’s even appropriately named this far-off world Farworld. Little does Marcus know that Farworld actually exists.

One night a mysterious man comes to the boys house that Marcus is residing and claims that he is a state attorney. He has come for Marcus claiming that his parents have been looking for him. What Marcus doesn’t know is that this man has an alternate identity, one that could be very harmful to Marcus. When Marcus realizes what he’s up against he tries to escape. Before harm can befall upon him though he is somehow transported to Farworld. After recovering from the initial shock of waking up in new world Marcus meets Kyja, the girl that brought him into Farworld and the girl that is most often in his dreams. Kyja is different though. She is the only one in this world of magic that doesn’t posses any magical skills. While Marcus is an outcast on Earth because of his paralysis, Kyja is an outcast in Farworld because of her lack of skill. The only true friend she has is her skyte (a creature much like a lizard, but don’t ever call them that!) Riph Raph.

Together they must embark on a journey. It seems that Kyja’s good friend Master Therapass has been keeping a secret for the past thirteen years that is particularly dangerous to both Marcus and Kyja alike and could change the fate of both worlds. The Dark Circle, the evil doers in Farworld, have caught wind of this secret and are dead set on finding Kyja and Marcus. As the Dark Circle’s power grows it is harder and harder for the kids to stay away. Their only hope is to convince the mythical Elements- fire, earth, air, and water-to create a drift between the worlds. Their first stop is Water Keep. On their journey they will battle everything the Dark Circle can throw at them. Together they learn much about each other and themselves, forging an everlasting friendship.

Where to start, where to start?? Fantasy has never really been my thing. While I have always loved a good book that centers around magic, the whole alternate world has never really been my choice. When I got offered this book I thought, why not. I mean I feel that since I’m a reviewer now I should expand my genre horizons. With that said I was hoping to find a book that would introduce me into the fantasy world and give me a better look at what fantasy is really all about.

The first couple of chapters started off a bit shaky. I couldn’t really tell where the story was going and I felt like the characters were really mean towards Marcus. As I got further into the book though the story quickly picked up and I found myself enthralled. The author really has a talent for making a faraway place seem realistic. I felt like I was riding along with Kyja and Marcus in their journey across the country land of Farworld. The comments that some of the characters made, especially Riph Raph, were very humorous and I found myself chuckling many times. I also thought that the premise of the book was very interesting. I honestly didn’t think that the plot would appeal to me, but in the end I think it is what made the book so special. Not only did the kids go on a journey to find the Water Keep, but also on a journey of self discovery. I think this is an important theme in books and while it is common, J. Scott Savage was able to put a twist on it and make it original. The one thing that really made this message stand out to me was when Master Therapass said “The real power of magic lies within you. Who you are, what you do, and most importantly of all, what you may become.” I think that this is so true and this message continues throughout the book, but not in a monotonous manner. I also think that the dialogue in the book was great. It wasn’t forced and it seemed to flow well. It also fit the characters. I’ve found that as I read more and more I realize that sometimes the author creates dialogue that doesn’t match the characters personality. In this book however, I could totally picture the characters saying what the author had written. The characters in the book were also good, not the best, but still had more life than many characters. I really found it unique that the main character in the book had a disability, but it wasn’t the main focus of the book. Marcus really came to almost accept his disability and learned to succeed with his disability. Overall I found myself riveted to this book, anxious to see what would happen next. Even now I am anxious to find out what will happen in future books, which I hope to see plenty of! For me this was a great introduction into the fantasy genre, which I will for sure be reading more of!

2 comments:

Kyle said...

I just started this book, and you are right about the first few chapters. i am glad to here that it gets better. Great Review (as always).

Kyle
bookreviewmaniac@gmail.com

Carol said...

Sounds like a great fantasy book! I can't wait to read it.

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