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We’re not in Oz either.

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Jul 29, 2010: Naive Art – simple, bold, almost cartoony, but there’s more subtlety to it than it appears at first. This is the analogy – not a perfect one – that comes to mind when I try to think how to describe the style of this story.

Four teens stumble into another world, which needs them to save it for some reason. They are soon attacked, and a dark knight appears. First impressions: it’s rather cliched, doesn’t seem very deep, but there’s something so direct and appealing about the way the story unfolds, that I keep reading. And soon I’m finding, far from being cliched, my expectations are not being met – in a good way. In fact, from one page to another, I really cannot predict at all what is going to happen, and this intrigues me.

Who are the bad guys? Eight (substantial) chapters in, and this is still not at all obvious. Yet, there’s been plenty of conflict and action. There’s been killing and intent to kill. But when you get to know the perpetrators, they seem quite reasonable and decent; they have prejudices, but reasons for them. No-one’s being maliciously evil for the sake of world domination mwhahaha . . . .yet. Something more subtly sinister is going on.

There are multiple characters of various races, and since the scenes shift around between them quite frequently, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Elves, dwarves, dryads, goblins, sentient mythical beasts . . . these are familiar beings to fantasy readers, but the ways in which they interact in this story are not. This makes it a great vehicle for fantasy lovers to escape to a magical world, without the feeling of having read it all before.

The author has mentioned that her title DRAGON WARS is "boring"; and I agree it doesn’t really do the story justice; besides this, it’s the name of a computer RPG that is nothing to do with this story. Reader contest for new title, maybe?

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