The Wizard and the Quient
by T.J. Lemmer
Trafford Publishing

"Suddenly, a dim bluish slit momentarily appeared in the corner but then quickly vanished. Thomas strained his eyes again to look for it. Did he really see it? Or did he want to so badly that he imagined it?"

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Wisby is a seemingly average boy who discovers his inner-magic while embarking on a quest to find his father. When a strange electrical storm blows over his family's ranch, one eerily reminiscent of the tempest that caused his father's disappearance five years before, Thomas is transported to a parallel world. In this land 224 million years in the past, where the marvelous creatures of our childhood stories have been exiled lest they be persecuted, Thomas learns that he is the one chosen by the Quient to save the realm, rescue his father, and ultimately reunite his family.

Readers are quickly introduced to an unforgettable cast of characters, including Wendell, a wizened wizard; Bossel, an impetuous half-dwarf; Hazel, an elven love interest; and of course, Masler, Thomas' ultimate nemesis. Although these archetypal characters are familiar, hearkening to the works of L. Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling, Lemmer manages to reinvigorate the fantasy genre by setting the narrative in the Triassic period. One seldom encounters a more unique image than centaurs battling Eoraptors, the ravenous carnivores that threaten the stately Castle at Billow Rock.

The novel is at its most imaginative when Lemmer scientifically explains the physics and biological complexity of the world. Offering descriptions both playful and intellectually satisfying, readers will delight in a richly rendered world where flying is described as a state of floating that results from a fairy's touch "neutralizing the effect of gravity on [the] body," and where terramites, a unique breed of gnome with termite-like behaviors, sculpt the Castle at Billow Rock by chiseling away at an existing mountain. Although this coming of age tale is best suited for a young adult audience, The Wizard and the Quient will dazzle both children and adults alike. This is the triumphant first installment in what promises to be an enthralling series.

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