"If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings then you will love this book. It is packed with action and mystery that will keep you turning the pages. I for one cannot wait until the next installment - read at your peril the dark Queen could be looking for YOU..." --G.P. Taylor, New York Times Number One best selling author, Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box
Fantasy Book Review
9 out of 10 Stars
The Prophecy Keepers is the first in a series of five fantasy books written for young adults by highly promising new author Melaine Bryant. The story covers five months in the life of Lisandra Ackart; five months that see her embark on a journey of discovery and magical adventure that will delight and thrill readers in equal measure. The opening chapters of The Prophecy Keepers are excellent: the scene is set, the characters introduced, and the story begins to unfold with admirable patience.
The main character is Lisandra, a fourteen-year-old girl with red hair and hidden powers. She is an endearing lead and ably supported by the esteem-seeking (but extremely loveable) Arethus and the dryad Æscere. It was the dialogue between Arethus and Æscere that really worked for me; they had a great chemistry, constantly bickering and scoring points off each other. The Prophecy Keepers is written in the third person with the narrative mainly following Lisandra on her adventures, but this style also allows us to know what is going on many miles away where Lucifæra, and her evil minions, are up to no good.
This is an excellent book, very well written, but what I liked most about it was how the author not only pours all of her inspirations into the story but does so in such a way that it will leave the reader wanting to find out more about the influences mentioned. Edmund Spenser, Homer, William Butler Yeats, Pliny the Elder and William Blake are all referred to and credited--throw in a healthy helping of Norse, Greek and Arabic mythology and you have a feast to whet the appetite of any budding fantasy reader/writer. The most impressive thing of all is the way in which Bryant has managed to bring all of this together in a way that not only works but also is extremely easy to read.
I think that Melaine Bryant's reasons for writing this book was firstly to entertain and secondly to encourage readers to explore all the classic fantasy tales that have been around for, in some instances, hundreds of years. All the ingredients needed in a high fantasy novel are there: the heroine, the prophecy plus, of course, the quest. This delightfully constructed story reminded me somewhat of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, not so much in content, but in its style and how it read. I would not hesitate to recommend The Prophecy Keepers to adults, both young and old, who are looking for a great new fantasy series.
Moving Pictures Magazine
It starts with an ancient prophecy: a time will come when Darkness will fall upon the world of Earde. And the legend promises a savior: the Gifted One, a human child with the powers of the magical races called the empyreals. But Bryant masterfully breathes new life into the old formula with her richly imagined world and its history, mythology and languages.
The humans of Earde dismiss the legends as stuff of myth, along with stories of the beginning of time, the Creators, the First and Second Destructions, and the magical races themselves. So when one of these empyreals comes to fourteen-year-old Lisandra Ackart and tells her that she is the Gifted One and it is her duty to save Earde from the Darkness, she scoffs. "That's ridiculous," she thinks. Even if all those things do exist, she can't be the One. She doesn't have special gifts. She's always been just ordinary. But Lisandra soon finds that she is mistaken, and, with great reluctance, she embarks upon a journey to track down the twenty-three Keepers of the ancient Prophecy, each of whom holds a single piece of the key to saving the world.
The Prophecy Keepers is a hard book to put down. It moves with powerful momentum, and each chapter brings surprising and unexpected mystery and adventure. The conflict in the story is between great forces, easily identified as good and evil, yet all the characters on both sides of the conflict are full and complex, and the relationships between them are real and well-developed. My only disappointment came right at the very end with three words: To be continued...
From the Publisher
There is an ancient legend in the memories of the humans of Niwengeard, that a time will come when Darkness will fall upon the kingdoms of Earde and one will rise who threatens all species. It has been foretold that at this time, a Gifted human child possessing the powers of the magical races--the empyreals--will be born to lead a revolution against the Darkness. But this memory is hazy, like the memories of the beginning of time, of the Creators, of the First and Second Destructions, and even of the empyreal races who share the humans' world. So when a fairy named Rædan appears before fourteen-year-old Lisandra Ackart and tells her that the time of the Third Destruction has begun and that she is the Gifted One, she doesn't believe him.
When a series of strange events leaves her hundreds of miles from home, Lisandra is thrust unwillingly into the heart of an epic struggle that has spanned millennia, a conflict between the races of the Dark and the races of the Light. Now that struggle is nearing its end, and Lisandra must find the twenty-three Keepers of the ancient Prophecy, each of whom holds a single piece of the key to saving Earde from the Darkness. But first she must find a way to stop the Dark Queen, Lucifæra--who the Light Ones believe is behind the sudden disappearance of thousands of fairies--and her mysterious hexagonal charm.