CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

William Pasnak.
Vancouver, BC: Groundwood Books, 1984.
144pp., paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88899-027-8. Distributed by Douglas & McIntyre. CIP.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13

Reviewed by Dianne Harke.

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

This tale is an entertaining, and skillfully crafted work with the magical flavour of Tolkien.

Elena, a young dancer and juggler, travels through the exotic land of Estria with Ariel, her older and wiser male partner. Danger and adventure follow them as they near the City of the King. Sinister priests have occupied the palace, the Prince has disappeared, and the King teeters on the verge of madness. The secret brotherhood charged with the task of protecting the king must rally against dark forces and Ariel and Elena are drawn into the struggle. Elena's innate resourcefulness is bolstered by her initiation into the Daughters of Ismay, an equally secretive sisterhood, and her sensitivity and strength grow with each ominous turn of events.

Elena emerges as a refreshingly spunky heroine, fully capable of dealing with the evil around her, and Ariel's role as companion and mentor is just as carefully drawn. Evocative language complements a plot that has the right twists of suspense, intrigue and swift action. As the story ends, Elena and Ariel leave the City of the King promising to be back someday. A hint of a sequel, perhaps? Surely the author will not let them slip out of our sight without at least one more adventure.

Dianne Harke, Edmonton, AB.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works