Friday, July 25, 2008

Farworld Water's Keep by J. Scott Savage

Farworld Water’s Keep by J. Scott Savage

Marcus Kanenas, a boy with a crippled arm and leg, lives in a school for boys. He never knew what happened to his parents, but an Elder Ephraim, who found Marcus as a baby, and named him Kanenas meaning nobody in Greek, keeps tabs on him until his death. Marcus finds that occasionally people notice that he makes weird things happen and he ends up being moved to a new state home. When he gets lonely or bored he often daydreams about a place called Farworld, full of animals who talk, and trees and plants that sing. He imagines that he has a friend there, a girl with brown hair and a strong personality.

Little does he know that the girl he sees lives in a real place and that their futures are intertwined by magic. When Marcus is magically transported to Farworld and meets Kyja, familiar to him because of his dreams. He learns that she grew up in Farworld, a place of magic, without a speck of magic ability. She introduces him to her friend and teacher Master Therapass, who tells Marcus that they are the key to saving Farworld and the Earth from a powerful, destructive forced called the Dark Circle.
Together Kyja and Marcus must find Water Keep and convince the elemental powers—air, water, fire, and earth—to combine together to save a world that they rule but care nothing about. They must get there before the Dark Circle destroys them and the worlds they both know and love.

I read the ARC edition of this book, and it will come out officially in September this year. J. Scott Savage is conducting a huge blog tour for the month of July to celebrate it’s coming out and getting the news out about the book. Most of the reviews I’ve read (I’ve kind of tried to ignore them so I wouldn’t be spoiled.) rave about how they couldn’t put the book down and how the story is awesome. I wasn’t as enchanted by the book, and found it kind of hard to get through. Don’t get me wrong, the book isn’t bad at all. It has good writing, a unique (though typical) magical world, and a strong plot. I think younger readers, especially those who like fantasy will love it.

Thing is I’ve read a lot of fantasy and plot, action, and new world elements are fun, but aren’t really what make a book shine for me anymore, especially if they aren’t innovative. It really is the characters, and I felt the characters were kind of overshadowed by the larger plot in the book. Also, I had this feeling that throughout the book that the characters problems were solved too conveniently and predictably. Though, the unmakers cavern was a reversal of this trend and a really cool sequence of the book. Yeah, so I wish the characters internal conflicts had been fleshed out, and resolved alongside the main plot threads, instead of being there and for the majority looked over. That in my opinion is what holds this story back from being an incredibly stellar book.

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