Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Daughter of Statues by Phil McGrail

I'd received $20 from a friend for my birthday and decided to troll around for a few relatively un-heard of books that I could review here on the Maelstrom. The one I discovered that looked most interesting was Daughter of Statues by new author Phil McGrail. Thus, with a rather unsettled feeling I purchased it and had it sent in. After completion and contemplation, it appears that my fears were really all for nothing.

The story begins with Kae, a little girl who is content to live a quite life near the forests with her parents and her grandfather. Until one day when the crazed king of he
r land bursts from the horizon and confuses everything she thought she knew.

Suddenly, her grandfather is revealed as a magician who will do anything to protect his secret from the abuses of the king. Kae watches in horror as the trusted man transforms her parents and himself into statues, all the while signaling for her to escape. She runs into the forest and there her adventures begin. She must follow a string of clues and legends to a near-mythical castle on the edge of the sunset, where the secret of her family's liberation is waiting to be discovered. But at what cost?

This novel read very much like an old-fashioned fable (as the cover suggested), with familiar lessons and fantastic creatures. This is accompanied by quaint-ish writing and some fun dialogue. But creative worlds within worlds and challenges separated it from many stories in the fantasy/legend genre. It is obvious that the author put a great deal of work into the many details of his new universe, known as Lanofar. The main character, Kae, is a constant surprise and very well developed. I look forward to reading her further adventures in the next couple of books, which I will be looking out for.

While it is apparent that this
self-published author is new to the scene, I expect good things in the future. I think that there is a lot of promise in the story of Kae and I hope that he acts upon it.

I bestow...
5 out of 7 lightnings. KRACHASHAW! Not too shabby.

Glancing Warily at Rocks,


*Heather* said...

Sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Medeia said...

Ooh, I love fables. Could I perhaps borrow that from you Ael?