The Forgotten Palace
Luke Aylen (@lukeaylen)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)
"Light attacks where darkness defends..."
Just when you thought it was safe in the land of Presadia - deep in the heart of the Great Forest lie many secrets, including the ancient ruins of a once-magnificent palace. A chance encounter with a bedraggled stranger and the discovery of broken shards of a magical mirror lead 'unusually tall dwarf' Antimony on a journey of discovery.
Luke Aylen’s follow up to The Mirror and The Mountain is a more assured semi-sequel (it takes place partly alongside the original). With smoother prose and more action - big baddie 'the Usurper' is a great threat. I really enjoyed this fantasy romp which whilst written for kids is strong enough to please fans of Narnia and the like of all ages.
You'll get more from this story if you've read the first book as the world of Presadia has some nice twists on the standard fantasy elements. I was reminded at points of The Hobbit (which is high praise as I'm big Tolkien fan).
The story is fun, is packed with adventure and has a much more exciting finale than the first, you can feel Aylen enjoying his creation with more confidence this time. There is plenty of magical stuff along with some good life lessons (which are less blatant allegories this time around).
I'm told that there will be more Presadia based fiction to follow and if they keep improving then there is much to look forward to! Recommended fantasy-em-up for young readers (and young at heart) everywhere.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - This new fantasy world is building nicely)...
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Want something a little darker?
Check out COMPLETE DARKNESS which delivers near future nightmares...