A quick fantasy read with a solid moral underpinning.

The Wizard and the Fairy Princess

Galloway’s debut fantasy novella unveils a secret world replete with goblins, a fairy princess, an evil witch, and a magical wizard. 

Eric is a human who’s long been fascinated by the myths of fairies, and he eventually goes to England to investigate the legends. After interviewing some locals, he sets up a fairy feast in the Forbidden Forest. The fairies join him for drunken cavorting and then bring him back to their land. His arrival triggers a long-dormant prophecy about the downfall of the wicked witch queen. Angelica, a fairy princess who was bred and raised by unicorns, has been training as a warrior, waiting for the right time to lead her people to reclaim their land from the queen. The people believe that Eric is a legendary wizard who’s key to the witch’s destruction, so Angelica and her team later rescue him from a deadly trap. They train him, and soon Eric and Angelica are working out plans to take down the queen. With ingenuity, supreme sacrifice, and teamwork, they kill the queen’s most powerful ally, the Collector. With him gone, they can breach the castle and reclaim the land for the people. The character of Angelica is a brave warrior princess who will provide a great role model for young girls; she isn’t afraid to fight or sacrifice for the greater good when necessary. Eric’s sense of adventure, even when facing his own death, is uplifting, and his resilience after losing his ties to the human world will remind readers that life can be wonderful if one lets go of preconceived notions about what’s truly important. The way the entire community works together, even to the extent of sacrificing their own lives, makes a powerful statement about solidarity and what it takes to defeat oppression. The fantasy world is rich and lush, showcasing Galloway’s fantastic imagination, and the pacing moves quickly forward. There are times when the prose is clichéd or awkward (“Needless to say, the spontaneous celebrations started popping up all over the place”), but the story is well-paced enough to transcend these moments.

A quick fantasy read with a solid moral underpinning.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4931-7584-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2015

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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TRUE BETRAYALS

Thoroughbreds and Virginia blue-bloods cavort, commit murder, and fall in love in Roberts's (Hidden Riches, 1994, etc.) latest romantic thriller — this one set in the world of championship horse racing. Rich, sheltered Kelsey Byden is recovering from a recent divorce when she receives a letter from her mother, Naomi, a woman she has believed dead for over 20 years. When Kelsey confronts her genteel English professor father, though, he sheepishly confesses that, no, her mother isn't dead; throughout Kelsey's childhood, she was doing time for the murder of her lover. Kelsey meets with Naomi and not only finds her quite charming, but the owner of Three Willows, one of the most splendid horse farms in Virginia. Kelsey is further intrigued when she meets Gabe Slater, a blue-eyed gambling man who owns a neighboring horse farm; when one of Gabe's horses is mated with Naomi's, nostrils flare, flanks quiver, and the romance is on. Since both Naomi and Gabe have horses entered in the Kentucky Derby, Kelsey is soon swept into the whirlwind of the Triple Crown, in spite of her family's objections to her reconciliation with the notorious Naomi. The rivalry between the two horse farms remains friendly, but other competitors — one of them is Gabe's father, a vicious alcoholic who resents his son's success — prove less scrupulous. Bodies, horse and human, start piling up, just as Kelsey decides to investigate the murky details of her mother's crime. Is it possible she was framed? The ground is thick with no-goods, including haughty patricians, disgruntled grooms, and jockeys with tragic pasts, but despite all the distractions, the identity of the true culprit behind the mayhem — past and present — remains fairly obvious. The plot lopes rather than races to the finish. Gambling metaphors abound, and sexual doings have a distinctly equine tone. But Roberts's style has a fresh, contemporary snap that gets the story past its own worst excesses.

Pub Date: June 13, 1995

ISBN: 0-399-14059-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995

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