CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 1. . . .September 9, 2016
Door into Faerie. (The Shards of Excalibur; Book 5).
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2016.
198 pp., trade pbk., pdf & html, $14.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-55050-654-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55050-655-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-55050-891-8 (html).
Grades 6 and up / Ages 11 and up.
Review by Ronald Hore.
“What’s that?” Ariane asked as they crossed a bridge over the Souris River. She pointed to the south, where a round white tower with a steep, conical roof and small windows down its sides rose from a hill.
“It’s a hill,” said Wally helpfully. “I know we don’t have very many of them in Saskatchewan, but--”
She swatted his arm playfully. “I mean, what’s that tower thing? It looks like a lighthouse. Or something Rapunzel might have lived in.”
“It’s an old water tower,” Wally said. “There used to be quite a few in Saskatchewan that looked like that. I don’t know how many are left—I know there’s one like it in Humboldt.” He grinned at her. “Looks like one thing, but it’s really something very different. Just like you – after all, you look like an ordinary teenage girl--”
“Ordinary?” Ariane said, dangerously.
“Um…I mean, you look like an incredibly beautiful and talented teenage girl,” Wally amended, “and yet in reality you’re the heir to the Lady of the Lake.”
Door into Faerie is the fifth and final volume in the “Shards of Excalibur” series. The continuing story follows the two heroes, Ariane, a teenage girl anointed by The Lady of the Lake with the power to control water, and Wally Knight, a teenage boy and a descendent of King Arthur who has some of the powers of his ancestor. By book five, there is a budding romance.
Rex Major, an industrialist, is the villain and is actually the wizard Merlin trapped on Earth. Readers follow the points of view of all three main characters. Rex is searching for the shards of the magic sword Excalibur which, once complete, would allow him to control our world and invade Faerie. The Lady of the Lake leads the opposition to him, but she is unable to come here from Faerie. Because of that inability, The Lady of the Lake has granted Ariane her powers; Ariane can travel rapidly through any source of fresh water and take Wally with her.
When the book opens, the teenagers have two shards of Excalibur as does Rex Major. Rex also has Wally’s sister Felicia. Felicia hates Ariane and has the same powers as Wally. Both teams are searching for the remaining piece of the sword, the hilt. Whoever finds the hilt gains the completed sword. This volume takes readers from Saskatchewan, where the heroes are hiding, to Scotland in search of the hilt, and back again. The locales are well-described, and the pace of the action keeps the pages turning. The climactic battle brings all the characters together in a final and satisfying struggle for power.
Door into Faerie will appeal to young readers in search of adventure as well as adults who enjoy the timeless story of King Arthur. It represents a suitable ending to a story of youthful characters who have wandered the world and suffered several successes and failures in search of their goal.
Ronald Hore, involved with writers’ groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy and science fiction in Winnipeg, MB.
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