A modern-day teenager is swept through time in Hesse’s exhilarating fantasy tale of enchanted lands and rampaging monsters.
Possibilities are endless when it comes to the realm of whimsy, as 17-year-old Oberon Griffin of Garrett, Wyo., can attest. That world is surprisingly real for him, particularly when he’s whisked back in time by a mystical spirit-comet composed of the ingenious spirits of Haldor and Allegra. Hesse’s story is one of prophecies and sorcery with a modern twist. Set in a Gaelic kingdom called Windermere, the book offers castles, kings, goblins and the villainous King Torolf to test the teenager’s will. Griffin is tasked with the choice of returning to his time or rescuing the beautiful, tomboyish Gabrielle Brynnen, while uncovering the secrets of his own unique past. Fanciful names for animals and inanimate objects, much like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, are the norm in Hesse’s lively tale–the book features a sword named Roar and a faithful horse named Shadow, as well as a number of other aptly named creations. Like Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series, telepathy also plays a major role in Griffin’s adventure–the main character often speaks to both humans and animals through an easy-to-manipulate mental link. Still, despite similarities, Griffin brings a charming freshness to the narrative. While asides in the book often seem to linger, the friendly tone of the tale makes such digressions forgivable. The author’s vivid imagination is also a plus, as standard fantasy creatures like elves and goblins intermingle with more novel star crystals, ghost clouds and moonpaths.
This gem of a well-plotted adventure tale is a worthwhile addition to the fantasy genre.