Monday, October 25, 2010

New Atlantis: Kingdom of Youth

Here's a major adventure for mid-schoolers! This new release by R. W. Garrett compares favorably with the tales of C. S. Lewis. In fact, Garrett acknowledges his influence in her work.

The story centers on the Chosen Children, set apart by the Unknown God to populate three small islands north of the main continent of Atlantis. While the purpose of the divine directive is one of mercy and survival, the crafty and unscrupulous King Jorash seeks to twist it to his own liking. The Children reach the appointed age of 14, and their training begins. Adult mentors teach them all aspects of community: government, construction, farming, mining, etc.

But when the priests cast lots to choose the youthful king for this new country, it falls on the earnest, conscientious Savot, not Cain, the boy who shares the king's agenda. Thus, during the year of training, King Jorash plots with Cain and other like-minded boys to get rid of Savot and run things their way.

The time comes when the Chosen Children voyage to their new home and are left on their own. Though they now face very grown-up challenges, responsibilities and dangers, Garrett never forgets that they are kids. Pranks, antics, and youthful dialog abound. This is a complex adventure, but Garrett tells it simply, and in language appropriate for the target age group. There is plenty of suspense and excitement to keep the reader involved. The ending, while satisfying, leaves ample material for a sequel. Lets hope it comes soon!

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