GUARDIANS OF THE SINGREALE by Calvin Miller

GUARDIANS OF THE SINGREALE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An extraordinary juvenile fantasy whose sheer uncomplicated appeal and freshness usually overcome its many narrative handicaps. On the sole continent of planet Enterman live the delightful, vegetarian, hobbit-like Graygills, who paint their circular houses in Day-glo colors and wear boots to match. But then Parsky, lone Blackgill survivor of ancient Gray-Black wars, feeds his welder friend Raccoman Dakktare a secret meat-tainted stew--and soon Raccoman's gray ""gills"" (long sideburns) turn black . . . and evil desires gnaw at him. Other Graygills, too, fall victim to Parsky's corrupting meaty stew; the Graygills' normally tractable cousin-animals revolt and destroy the peaceable Graygill community. And Parsky has designs on Singreale, a magical diamond guarded by nubile, pure-hearted Velissa (who uses the jewel's power to cure Raccoman of his unnatural cravings). Finally, then, decimated by the rampaging animals and Parsky's new Blackgill slaves, the Grays withdraw into the mountains as Raccoman and Velissa finish building a sailplane. . . to glide off in pursuit of the mysterious Star Riders--a cop-out fadeout. Still, though often confused, Miller's generous, richly textured plot glows with charm and originality. And despite some ludicrously inept writing and tin-eared versifying, this unabashedly YA-ish pipe-dream is mostly enchanting and often enthralling--right up to that shabby non-ending.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1982
Publisher: Harper & Row