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The Farwalker's Quest Hardcover – February 17, 2009
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Ariel and her best friend, Zeke, are ready for Namingfest, a day when they choose one of the twelve trades and are tested to become an apprentice. Though Ariel will test to be a Healtouch like her mother, she worries it isn’t her true calling. Then she and Zeke find a telling dart, a mysterious remnant from the past. Its message appears lost, but Ariel knows the dart itself tells a story somehow meant for her. When two Finders come to their fishing village looking for the dart, Ariel reluctantly hands it over, but in the process marks herself as a potential Farwalker, a long-lost trade. The strangers kidnap Ariel, and, with Zeke following, her quest to find the source of the dart and her true purpose has begun. This stand-alone fantasy has a unique setting with an intriguing history and a suspenseful plot. Ariel, as headstrong as she is thoughtful, is an appealing character, and her strong bond with her companions—Zeke and Scarl, her taciturn but caring protector—makes their journey one to follow. Grades 5-8. --Krista Hutley
A Bank Street Best Book for 2010 --Bank Street College of Education
This is a solid and well-paced fantasy in which the journey is more important than the conclusion. The theme of finding and accepting one's true calling resonates. --School Library Journal
[T]he book is at once elegant and lyrical, while also offering an intensely paced and action-driven plot for readers who are seeking adventure along with poetic contemplation.
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This stand-alone fantasy has a unique setting with an intriguing history and a suspenseful plot. --Booklist
The story offers crisp dialogue, an exciting plot, and strong secondary characters. --Kirkus
Top customer reviews
HOWEVER, the only reason I did not give this book a 5 star review was because (despite my wildly liberal tendencies - and complete agreement with his central thesis that knowledge SHOULD be shared and celebrated, not destroyed and forgotten) I just felt he got way too preachy about it. I feel he even politicized the book by making some of the ancient forgotten items things like, "bikes" = bicycles = something that we currently have now.
SPOILER: Most of the 'treasures' of the vault (in terms of knowledge) were also referring to technologies or knowledge that today's modern society DOES currently have and use. That, to me, makes the book less of a pure fantasy novel - and more of a commentary on the author's views of where our current political governance will lead us.
If the author had INSTEAD just chosen MAGICAL objects or imagined NEW things (setting the tone that his world is a COMPLETELY NEW world - NOT the tone that his world IS OUR CURRENT world - just fast-forwarded several centuries). Had that been the case, I would've given it a 5 star 100% LOVED it. Sadly, the blatantly overt political overtones (author is not subtle) did significantly decrease my enjoyment of the book. (Despite the fact that I even COMPLETELY AGREE with the author's political views; it just seemed to draw me out of the "fantasy" which you want from your fantasy novels.)
Overall, good book, but it could have been amazing if the author had gone PURE fantasy - instead of trying to tie in political messages.
The story takes place in a future time after the "Blind Wars." Villages are scattered and technology gone. Friends Ariel and Zeke, are getting ready for namingfest. Ariel plans to be a Healtouch like her mother and Zeke, a Tree-Singer and live in their village in peace and happiness as they always have. An artifact found by Ariel changes everything and turns their world upside down.
Ariel is kidnapped and Zeke quietly tracks her. Together they find their true calling and journey to find the sender of the artifact and discover if the old myths of a vault are true. Though the way is treacherous the journey will change their lives and give them new cherished friendships with the most unlikely person.
The books are labeled for grades 5 - 8 but, I enjoyed these books and will reread them though I'm in my 60s. Good books know no age limits.
In this world, when a child turns 13, they are given a test to determine their occupation. The story starts right before this test.
I like the writer's style and the way she moves the plot forward. I'd like to read some of her other books after I finish this one. This would also be a good read for a teen.
Most recent customer reviews
I recommend it it had a lot of drama and tears in it , there was sadness and death also ghosts bad and good...Read more