I met Ms. B. Pine at the Readers' Favorite Awards Ceremony in Miami last November. She's a delightful young author and I promised to read and review her book. At the time I didn't realize it was much longer and an older YA book -- not the type of children's book I usually read and review. So it took me a few months longer than I anticipated -- since life also "got in the way." Here's my long overdue review of the first book in her Draca Wards Saga.
Familiar Origins: Book 1 of The Draca Wards Saga, by B. Pine is a young adult fantasy reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. It takes place in the post apocalyptic future, after the abuse of science and technology has destroyed our “old” civilization. It is set in a time when mankind has gone back to a simpler, more primitive life, but with elements of magic thrown in. Did I mention dragons? Yes, there are dragons: the good Tueri and the bad Debellos -- all can “phase” in and out, visit the “Astral Plane,” wield magic, shape shift into human form or their two legged or four legged form. Like the Harry Potter series, the Draca Ward Saga would make a fine movie series. . The action is so realistic you actually believe that you’re reading about true situations.
“Five extraordinary children are hunted by dragons. Some dragons are good, some are not, but they all want to make these children their own.”
Along with the dragons, supernatural powers, and magic: spiritual, elemental, mental or psychic, there is the Academy of Colleges (similar to HP’s Hogswarts School). There the five special children will go to hone their skills and learn to use their abilities. These gifted children are destined to become “wards” of the dragons, to be mentored by and partner with them. As in any school setting, there is camaraderie, deep friendships, studying and learning, competition, and love interests, too. The Academy’s four colleges are: Espies, the college for “Scouts,” Arcanum, for “Mages” – those training to use spell-casting magic, Somatica, the Healer’s college, and Gladia, the Warrior’s or Soldier’s college. It also has close familial relationships – sibling rivalry and more competition.
In Familiar Origins, we meet the first six of the eight special children (one is a baby and will be featured more in the second book). Rohen and Galen will become Scouts, Ben and Jania are studying to be Mages, and Megan is a Druid Healer studying at Somatica. The story has plenty of action, adventure, training for battle, and actual fighting. You see the world through the eyes of the Draca = Dragons, as well as through the humans – adults and children.
This saga is an exciting page-turner. The stories of the children are heartbreaking and yet they overcome their past and face their uncertain future with determination. We see these supernaturally gifted children growing up and facing trials and tribulations with gumption, purpose, and valor. There are two more children coming in future books in the Draca Wards Saga: Plights, Coming of Age, and Glimpses of Destiny.
Ms. Pine has created an intense “magical realistic” fantasy world. It meets fantasy lovers’ need for adventure, intrigue, magic, and epic battles, while affirming such values as honor, integrity, family ties, and education for life preparation. The Draca Wards – these remarkable children – must use their wits, develop their skills and abilities as they train for the ultimate showdown that we know will come: the epic power struggle between Good and Evil. This carefully crafted, multi-layered, and powerful saga for older YAs does not disappoint.
More information on Ms. B. Pine and the next books in The Draca Wards Saga is available at:
The award winning Familiar Origins: The Draca Wards Saga is published by Silver Leaf Books and is available from www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com, and other quality booksellers.
Tags: Fantasy, Magical Realism, B. Pine, Draca Wards, Familiar Origins, Plights, Coming of Age, Glimpses of Destiny, The Academy, Colleges, Druids, Mages, Healers, Warriors, Soldiers, Scouts, Children, Young Adult Fiction, Post Apocalyptic World, Battles, War, Good and Evil, Supernatural, Gifted, Paranormal.