Book Review: Lark’s End by Christina Leigh Pritchard

51hOqWMCQ5L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Lark’s End
Author: Christina Leigh Pritchard
Genre: YA/MG, Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Lotus Books
Pubilcation Date: September 17th, 2012
Amazon | Website

From the author of the C I N Series, comes an epic fantasy world filled with nothing but constant action and adventure. A new world, new life forms, and another twisted and complex story from author Christina Leigh Pritchard!

SYNOPSIS:

Mary wants to kill them. But, someone stands in her way…

Tahmi has nightmares, of an old man in a sailor’s suit, dropping her off on her doorstep. When she tells her parents about him they look sick. Could her dream have some truth to it? Is that old man the reason they won’t allow her in the woods behind her house?

What are they hiding from her? Who is she?

TAHMI: She’s just an ordinary girl, right?

Lark’s End, the first of nine books in the epic fantasy series The Fall of Gadaie. For extras, (characters, illustrations, book trailers, maps) please visit the blog dedicated to the series: gadaie.com

Lark’s End is a delightful, pleasant read for upper middle grade readers and the ‘younger’ young adult readers. The story is highly imaginative, offers a varying and intriguing array of characters and creatures, has a creative and thoughtful setting and makes the reader tumble from one adventure into the other.

The main character, Tahmi, is an intelligent, creative girl. A strange man dropped her off with her adoptive parents, Donna and Charles one day, and ever since the two of them have been raising her as their daughter, even though she isn’t. Donna notices strange things about her adoptive daughter right from the get-go. Tahmia develops quicker than other kids her age. She could walk and talk faster than other kids.

But what Donna and Charles never expected was that Tahmi wasn’t even from their own world. Born in the kingdom of Gadaie, a kingdom where creatures like Loonies live, people have been magically changed into horses, there are talking cats, and an evil threatening the entire kingdom, Tahmi is more different than anyone ever imagined. As the princess of this strange world, she is welcomed home by a variety of people who know her, but of who she has no recollection.

When a pink cloud turns up and tries to take Tahmi and her best friend and neighbor Andy to the strange land, they try to run from it at first. As soon as they fall into the magical world, they’re met with obstacles and people who each have their own agendas. However, there are more connections between this foreign world and the “real” world, or Earth, than meets the eye. For instance, Donna’s long lost sister, Maya, is imprisoned in the Queen’s dungeons.

I loved the characters. Tahmi and Andy each have very distinct personalities. I liked their interactions, how they can tease each other one moment and be best friends the next. I also liked Donna and Charles. They may not be Tahmi’s real parents, but their love for her is boundless. Also, when Tahmi is first brought to Gadaie, she’s forced to face a series of people depending on her, and confused as she is, it’s near impossible for her to help them all. I liked how this affected her usually cool demeanor, it made her seem more normal, more human, more relatable.

What I thought was most impressive was the world building. The creatures mentioned in this book are so imaginative, so creative, and they’re well described, so I could picture them easily. Also, the supposed ‘big bad’, Mary of the Monsters, was not a one-sided villain, something I really liked. She is well-developed, and only evil when seen from a certain perspective. Whenever an author manages to creature a multi-dimensional villain, I call that great writing, and it’s definitely the case here.

The writing itself very much fits the age group the story is meant for. It’s not too descriptive, but whenever descriptions come up, they’re short and to the point. The dialogue is great, and at times even hilarious. I can’t give away much more about the story or characters, but I can say that I enjoyed it very much from start to end.

I recommend Lark’s End to all fantasy fans, upper middle graders and young adults alike. I can’t wait the rest of the books in this series!

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the review and post!!!

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