Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2011
: Melding the best of mythology and fairytale, Amos Daragon #1: The Mask Wearer
is the first book in a fast-paced adventure series for middle grade readers. Amos is a hero straight out of the Brothers Grimm--loyal, trustworthy, and very clever--outsmarting villains with their own nefarious schemes. In this classic story of good versus evil, Amos has been chosen as a Mask Wearer, tasked with combating forces of evil using the power embedded in four lost masks. Encountering gorgons, mermaids, nagas, and the Egyptian god Seth, Amos proves he is a fierce opponent and a steadfast friend. A satisfying conclusion sets the tone for the next book, and the mythology glossary at the end is an added bonus.--Seira Wilson A Letter from Author Bryan Perro
As a young boy, I had a passion for comic books, especially the French Pif Gadget
. At fourteen, I discovered my first book, The Devil’s Triangle
by American writer Richard Winer. The book was about the Bermuda Triangle; I loved how it dealt with the supernatural and how unexplained forces exert power over the boats, aircrafts, and people who dare to venture in this eerie part of the Atlantic Ocean. This real-life mystery and Winer’s way with words fueled my imagination.
During my college years, I developed a deep interest in anthropology and the myths that exist throughout the world. I have around 350 books in my home--all myths and legends from places near and far. The fantastical creatures that populate these amazing stories, along with the hero in each of them, inspired me to create Amos Daragon, the series.
When I was looking for a magical item that Amos Daragon would need to find on his quest, I was surprised to learn that the first such item in the history of mankind is not the magic wand, but the mask.
When the aborigines, the first men, danced around their campfires, they personified animals. How did they do this? They wore masks! If, for example, they put on the mask of the eagle, their vision grew more piercing. This enhanced power allowed them to be a better hunter. So I wanted Amos to be in pursuit of mankind’s first magical item, the mask. Four of them, in fact! And since I wanted to write an extended series, I decided that stones would empower the masks. Not only did this allow Amos to harness his abilities as Mask Wearer slowly, it gave me the opportunity to explore all sorts of adventures for my young hero. It’s been an incredible journey for him and for me--one that I hope boys and girls will join as they begin Amos Daragon #1: The Mask Wearer.
Fast paced, with a litany of new friends and foes introduced in every chapter, this first installment in the Amos Daragon series is a smart choice for die-hard fantasy lovers. Young Amos, a child of peasants in a mythical realm ruled by an evil king, is chosen to fight a �mysterious and wicked force� by collecting four masks that represent earth, wind, fire, and water and along the way eliminating the malevolent forces corrupting the woods of Tarkasis. In his quest, Amos encounters mermaids and mermen, druids and fairies, and he befriends the �humanimal� Beorf. The plot is complex, and the fantasy can be heavy-handed at times, but a �mythological lexicon� appears as an addendum and provides some cultural context regarding many of the creatures who appear in the story. This is ultimately a tale about finding one�s own independence, and the climax will leave readers eager for the next installment in the series. Fans of Cornelia Funke�s Inkheart trilogy will approve. Grades 4-7. --Erin Anderson