4 out of 4 stars
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Dew Pellucid has created a fascinating fun fantasy in The Crystilleries of Echoland. The characters are interesting, and their adventure through Echoland, something of a parallel universe, keeps the reader involved.
Will Cleary, our main character, and his twin sister were kidnapped when they had been very young. Somehow, for some unknown reason, Will had been returned, but his sister was not. Years later nearing his 13th birthday, Will decides to find his sister. He sets off on a journey, aided by his two pets, a wolf and a falcon beneath the pond where he had been found when he returned. Once in the other world, his pets turn out to be something different than what they had appeared to be.
Will learns that each child in the world of Sound, the world of his birth, has an Echo in Echoland. These Echoes are nearly transparent and live a different life. Under normal circumstances, death in one realm does not mean death in the other. However, the new Echoland king, playing off an old myth: “when a Sound dies his Echo should die too—or evil times will follow,” Makes a law that any Echo who’s Sound dies, must be executed to save the kingdom from evil times. Thus, it becomes easier for the king to rid himself of Echo rivals by sending assassins to kill their Sound counterparts.
The story has been weaved into an exciting page-turning adventure, delving into a unique world of castaway children, cruel fate sealers who torture the castaway children, fairies, and a prince, who turns out to be the Echo iteration of Will Cleary our main character. Prince William also has a quest: to clear the name of his father, the previous king and depose his uncle who currently sits on the throne. Will the Sound learns that to keep himself safe and return to his world with his sister, he needs to help Prince William. Together, along with a few new friends, they must solve the riddle of how to enter into a world beneath a frozen lake to obtain fire mushrooms. This will provide the proof the previous King had been sane.
I rank this book 4 out of 4. I found The Crystilleries of Echoland exceptionally well edited, the characters well formed, the plot well written and executed. There was little to dislike in this book, and the few items I might place here, a magical weapon that never needs reloading and an accident that kills Wither Heart, the head of the fate sealers, seem appropriate and acceptable for the age group.
The Crystilleries of Echoland is aptly classified as YA, though I would also recommend it for younger readers as well. The illustrations are excellent and go far into setting the mood throughout the book.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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