Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ARMERA by Constance   Meccarello-Gerson


A Fantasy

by Constance Meccarello-Gerson

Publisher: Manuscript

Two unlikely companions search for a kidnapped wizard in this children’s fantasy novel.

The land of Armera is orbited by the moons of Vesti, colonized long ago by wizards escaping the planet’s terrible wars. Armera survived these conflicts, and benevolent wizards have returned to the planet, forming a Wizards Council to broker relations between the two civilizations. But now, DeMartize—Vesti’s greatest wizard—has been kidnapped by the evil twins Kal and Sak, and the colony blames the council. With war threatening, the high wizard Mernes the Mad brings together his 14-year-old apprentice, Peterzik, and Cedric, a 14-year-old “hero rescuer and thief,” for the job of saving DeMartize. Peterzik’s knowledge and Cedric’s accomplished thievery make them the perfect pair. Guided by a vision from the council, the two set out on their long and dangerous journey across challenging terrain. They’re beset by many daunting creatures to fight, negotiate with, or trick to get past; these include the Snow King, a fire dragon, a water monster, and a kingdom of bats. And the duo will still have to defeat the powerful and wicked twins, hoping to rescue DeMartize before war is declared. Meccarello-Gerson has written several cozy mysteries. This book is her first fantasy novel, also rather cozy. Encounters are generally resolved without violence, and the story has a soft heart for animals. It’s a lighthearted and funny approach to the genre, as when Cedric appeases the Snow King—who appreciates the finer things in life—with haute cuisine (vanilla fudge ice cream). But grammatical errors, including sentence fragments (“Slipping to the ground and resting his back against the old friendly oak’s trunk and decided to take a nap”); clumsy narration (“His necromancy of instantly blast freezing became part of his building process”); and overly casual phrasing (“Enough on the dragon subject and let’s get back to Cedric”) make the novel feel hastily composed. Even the work’s map appears to have been drawn on a napkin.

An amusing series of vivid adventures, if a little slapdash.