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The Sword of Demelza Kindle Edition
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|Length: 339 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The Sword of Demelza is firmly rooted in the realm of Heroic Fantasy, for the characters strive against forces greater than themselves; they are not anti-heroes, but are unselfish, caring, ordinary “people” who rise to the occasion, who are brave in the face of fear and danger, and are willing to make the sacrifices to save friends, family and their lands. Heroic characters such as the siblings, Erik and Emma, the two young marsupials (called kowaris) that set out to pick berries one fine day, and Devon, a sad, red fox that takes to the road of vengeance against evil Australian water dragons. There is Hector, a gang-gang cockatoo, who saves Erik and Emma from a large Brown Snake while they are out picking berries; and then there are the puggles (baby echidnas), Ackley and Amber, whose mother was bitten by that very same Brown Snake. They join with, and are looked after by Erik and Emma when Aldon, Keeper of the Forest, sends them out into the forest on a quest to find the items needed to make a potion to save her.
This novel is sublime, and Rogers captures and harnesses the balance of description, dialogue and action. She knows how to keep a plot moving from the first page to the very last in this epic Australian adventure that will surely be considered a classic. It has already scored numerous awards and chalked up many great reviews. Much has already been written about the plot and characters of The Sword of Demelza. There are detailed descriptions of what this book is about and who the characters are in the many reviews below. That being said, all I can add is that you really need to read this heroic fantasy adventure in order to truly comprehend the depth of setting, story and character that the author so well brings to life. Words best brought to my mind in regards to this story are: engaging, surprising, epic, adventuresome and enthralling. I would suggest that you do yourself a favor and find yourself lost inside of a great adventure!
It’s a heroic fantasy that incorporates magic as a motivating force, especially good versus evil powers who help the characters to reach their potential. The occasional moral points are never intrusive but emerge organically from the plotline. The constructed culture does leave some gaps. For example, the animals are literate, but we never see their schools. Technologically they are pretty much agrarian, but they manufacture cloth; Byrnie’s sash is made of (difficult to make) velvet, but utilizing what fiber? And they have leather goods (made from the hides of what animals?) And even though some of the denizens of that world are known carnivores (foxes, quolls, and goannas), they all seem to eat more or less the same vegetarian diet, except for villains like the thylacine. (Of course, one might also complain about where Toad in Wind in the Willows got a toad-sized motor-car!)
I found the choice of a fox for the hero a little odd since foxes are an introduced species in Australia and are responsible along with feral cats and cane toads for killing off many native animals. I was certainly happy there were no cane toads in the book, but I missed dingoes, platypuses, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, and kookaburras. Also, while magnetic termite mounds make an appearance, I was disappointed that the termites themselves didn’t have a role to play! Those who are familiar with my own books will know why!
This book has delightful illustrations – my favorites are Stokley the Warrior Echidna, Durward the Goanna, and who could not love Byrnie and Lazlo the taciturn Wombat on the cover? Those drawings are priceless!
I found some small punctuation and editing errors (I’m compulsive about that sort of thing), but not enough to prevent enjoyment of the book. The book would have also benefited from a List of Characters, since characters who appear early in the book may have been forgotten by the time they show up again. It was an easy read and thoroughly enjoyable, and I would recommend it for children of all ages. I plan to read the sequel, hoping to find the answers to certain things that were not fully explained in The Sword of Demelza.
Erika M Szabo author of The Ancestor's Secrets series
Protected By The Falcon: The Ancestor's Secrets Book 1
Founder of the Read for Animals project
Read for Animals #1: Anthology by authors, poets and animal lovers to help animals
Most recent customer reviews
The IndiePENdents ran from December 2011 until February 2016.Read more
The Sword of Demelza by J.E.Rogers and illustrated by Guy Atherfold and William Hulbert is a masterpiece of fantasy and adventure created with powerful...Read more