Eye of the Warrior
by Michelle Wilson

"They were about to embark on a journey. Where it would lead neither man knew."

Classic fairytale stories last through the ages due to the iconic heroes and villains who tell not only a story but teach an implicit moral lesson to the young reader. Wilson’s book is in a similar vein to these tales with a hero named Tamar who needs to defeat the Dark Lord, save the princess, and free the land from the Dark Lord’s grip. However, nothing is as easy as it seems, and despite the friends who rally behind Tamar’s cause, nothing comes without a hefty price. Tamar’s story follows the hero’s journey as he hastens to save his bride-to-be, only to be captured by the Dark Lord and descend into a hell that seems inescapable. With the help of friends and a couple of mentors (the father of the princess and a witch), he rises against the setback to overcome the Dark Lord himself.

The story is action-packed and fantastical, readily appealing to older children and young adults despite its predictability. A stylistic if slightly distracting trademark of the book is that the ending of each chapter sees the point of view changing from Tamar and his companions to the narrator, who makes explicit moral lessons based on what happened earlier in the chapter to either Tamar or the reader. Overall, though, this is an accomplished fantasy tale that will appeal to young readers who enjoy reading stories where good triumphs over evil with little moral ambiguity. Unlike traditional fantasy tales, there is a healthy balance of description to action which helps maintain a pace that will captivate the reader.

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