Some time ago, I signed up to be a part of the blog tour for the first book in J. Scott Savage's Farworld series. Once I started the book, I finished it in record time, but I have been chewing over my review. I really enjoyed the book, but I'm afraid to do any spoiling, so that should account for the shortness of my review here. It's not that I don't have plenty to say about it, it's that saying too much would be a great disservice for a book that depends on suspense to keep the pages turning, which is, admittedly, not my typical reading fare, and that makes this more of a challenge than I expected!
Marcus and Kyja are orphans, both with handicaps that mark them as outsiders. Marcus was discovered as a baby with crippling injuries to his arm and leg that would keep him confined to a wheelchair for life. His only relief from the struggle of everyday life is his uncanny ability to make himself "disappear" and his daydreams of an imaginary magical place called Farworld.
Kyja is without magical powers in a world where magic is commonplace and used for everything from cooking to playing children's games. She can neither practice magic nor be affected by the magic of others. When Marcus finds himself in a life or death situation, he and Kyja suddenly find themselves united in a distinctly unimaginary Farworld where it falls to the two of them to undertake the dangerous journey to save Farworld from the Dark Circle despite, or perhaps, it seems, with the help of their weaknesses.
Water Keep is a very promising start to what promises to be another addictive young adult fantasy series. Marcus and Kyja are engaging characters, easy to sympathize with as they are burdened with the fate of Farworld with only a evasive old wizard and their wits to guide them. Savage's Farworld is populated with fascinating creatures of all sorts ranging from the evil Thrathkin S'Bae, to the invisible Unmakers who feed on the magic of their prey, to the self-involved Water Elementals upon whom the fate of Farworld may well depend. A great page-turner with positive, but not preachy, messages of turning weakness into strength and finding the magic inside of yourself, Farworld: Water Keep is a tantalizing start to the series that already has me waiting for the next book.
There it is - the Farworld: Water Keep will be availabe for sale in hardcover as of September 2008. But wait! If you happen to want a free copy, an ARC has been made available to me to give away compliments of J. Scott Savage and his publisher Shadow Mountain (Yay! Look! It's my first bloggy giveaway!). If you want a chance at it, leave me a comment on this post - if you want an extra chance, link this post from your blog and leave me a link to where you linked from (hmmm, was that unnecessarily convoluted or is it just me?). The only stipulations are that you must live in the US or Canada, and that you must get your entry in before midnight on August 25th (when I will turn into a pumpkin, I mean...) which will, hopefully, give me a nice window of time to randomly choose and announce the winner before I get out of town for Labor Day weekend. I'll also (obviously) need a way to contact you if you win, so if you don't have an e-mail address on your blog - do leave one in your comment, please. Good luck!