THE WAR OF WORDS
by Amy Neftzger
Fields of Gold Publishing
Sometimes there's no better way to understand reality than through fantasy, and the best way to find truth may be in a book - if you can find the right one.
Battles against darkness, a quest for truth, and a search for the book that no one can read are all part of the fantasy adventure in The War of Words. As an evil sorcerer wages war by using mysterious shadows and seeks to gain control by confusing the residents as to what's real and what isn't, the fate of the kingdom rests in the hands of Kelsey and Nicholas.
As the youngest officer in the king's army, Kelsey fights the evil sorcerer s shadows on the battlefield as she explores the kingdom searching for the key to winning the war. Nicholas, a young sorcerer in training who is mastering his craft, discovers how the right words can change the course of the future.
Explore an enchanted maze, uncover the power of words, and learn about friendship in this whimsical tale.
Witchcraft, kings, and magic abound in this fantasy, but it's the glimpse at the importance of words and how they're used or understood, which makes this an especially interesting read.
First off, I was not aware that this was the third book in a series when I started to read it. Although it wasn't horribly difficult to dive into the characters and their world, reading the first two books would have cleared up a few questions. As it was, the first chapters bounced around between different characters and scenes, causing a little confusion, which I'm sure wouldn't have happened if I'd already read the rest of the series.
Kelsey is a young warrior with spunk and a strong desire to help end a war. She's brave and has a good heart. Sometimes, this extreme focus on her task, however, makes her loose sight of other things around her. Luckily, there's a wonderful cast of side characters who stand to her aide. Each comes to life in their own way, giving the story personality and wit. The bond of friendship strengthens as the heroes must not only handle the war and their task to find the book, but also learn to work with each other.
The writing in this book is beautifully done and is fitting for a middle grade audience. There's enough detail for the reader to get lost in the world without drawing out too long. Actions and a few wars scenes, keep the tension high as the heroes attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the book which no one can read. There is a little violence but nothing inappropriate for the intended age group.
There are some fairly pointed messages in these pages, the most obvious being the importance of words and how a slight change in their meaning (used or perceived) can lead to very different results. Despite the sometimes serious message and plot, the story is perfectly balanced with humor, and especially one character adds a perfect amount of comic relief, guaranteeing a few laughs and smiles.
Summed up, this is an enjoyable read with memorable characters and thought provoking messages. Not only middle graders will find themselves lost in the pages, but it's something adults can read as well.
And here she is. . .
Amy Neftzger is the author of fiction books for both adults and children. She has also been published in business and academic journals, as well as literary publications.
A few of her favorite things include traveling, books, movies, art, the Oxford comma, and gargoyles.
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