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Skies of Navarys (Lodestone Tales) (Volume 1) Paperback – October 20, 2013
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It's hard to describe the flavor of this highly imaginative story. The airships make me think steampunk, but a fantasy element underlies the functioning of the airships. The danger to the kids reminds me weirdly--and I haven't read her in decades--of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Ney-Grimm's other book Caught in Amber has that same aura. On the other hand, the society of Navarys, with its manners, industry, and parties, makes me think a little of Georgette Heyer if she'd written a fantasy for young adults. I guess the bottom line is that this writer's voice in unique. The book can be enjoyed by kids and adults both.
Liliyah and Mago, the children of high-ranking families who certify and engineer the magical energy of the stones , are learning to control their magic either hearing its musicality or as a kinesthetic practitioner sensing it. When they meet Palujon Clisto, an aeromancer little do they suspect he will steal the lodestones, Mago's father's latest invention which will transform life on Navary. The question the children will ask is whether he's using them for his own gain or for the salvation of their people.
This is a short story, well-written and interesting especially for middle-school aged children. The story is thought provoking with messages about trust, and pre-judging people. It's a story that gives a glimpse into family relationships and friendship in an affluent world that depends on magic.
The characters are realistic thirteen years old with all their curiosity, doubts, amiability and daring in the face of adversity. In this story a mystery lies in who's the hero and who's the rogue and thief. Zandro Mytris, Mago's father is quick-tempered, a genius of invention who's struggling with trull-disease, while Palujon Clisto is a friendly, self-assured and brilliant aeromancer who controls the weather routes for the Navarean merchant fleet.
I enjoyed the novella and will look for other science-fiction-fantasy's by this author