Wyndano's Cloak by A.R. Silverberry Tree Tunnel Pres
reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick
"Henceforth, you are Keeper of the Cloak. It only reflects something deep inside you, something great and wonderful that blesses you in abundance."
The magical kingdom of Aerdem is where Jenren, a young teenage girl who escaped her life as an orphan in the Plain World, has finally been reunited with her true mother and father, the King and Queen. Together with her friends Bit, the Countess Petunia, and Prince Dashren, life is sun-filled and joyous in the Rose Castle, the very walls of which flicker with brilliant colors. But Jenny receives a cryptic warning from an earth spirit. Danger is afoot. The castle is attacked by nether-spirits. Her Father and Dash are magically bound in vines that will slowly squeeze them to death. Jen is taken captive along with her mother. They are whisked away to the Kingdom of Purpura in the far north, amidst the icy wastes. It is ruled by the Queen of Aerdem's half-sister, the evil sorceress Naryfel. Bit and Petunia must travel to the Plain World to find a doctor who can help free the King and Prince. Jenny must learn to escape the clutches of the cruel Queen, Naryfel, and fight to save her mother.
Silverberry writes in an imaginative, almost musical style that illumines the contrast between the wonders of the imagination and the prosaic or "quotidian" world of everyday fact and purpose. He evokes the sights and sounds of nature and setting to help portray these polarities within a powerful coming-of-age story. Three young girls learn to battle the forces of ignorance, cruelty, and jealousy, making this a wonderful story for young minds grappling with the onset of maturity. The author adds to this wonder by making a rich and subtle metaphor for the power of creativity and courage, the function and purpose of artistic inspiration and enrichment, and the role of fantasy and vision in the human psyche, young or mature. This he does without sacrificing story. The result is a statement of the purpose of fantasy and fiction within the very structure of a fantasy.