Tree Tunnel Press (March 15, 2010)
Wyndanoâ€™s Cloak by A.R. Silverberry is a five time award-winning fantasy novel sure to be enjoyed and cherished by readers 10 and up. Settle in as this talented new author takes you on a grand adventure in the magical, wondrous Kingdom of Aerdem.
A story with one strong, well-developed female protagonist is rare. Here two heroines take center stage: the brave yet vulnerable Jenren, who grew up as an orphan in the dreary, magic-less Plain World before she learned of her royal bloodline, and her shy but determined best friend, Bit.
Princess Jenren, or Jen as she prefers, receives a mysterious message foreshadowing doom. She immediately suspects the return of the evil Queen Naryfel. Jen calls a family meeting, her father and mother, the King and Queen of Aerdem, her brother Dash, and Dashâ€™s fiancÃ©e, Bit. The family agrees that Naryfel will soon strikeâ€”but strike who and when and how? The King and Queen refuse to live in fear and carry on with royal business such as a masquerade birthday party for Dash. Despite Jenâ€™s best efforts, the castle is soon under siege. Jen and her mother are abducted while Dash and the King are trapped by a supernatural plant with branches that constantly tighten their deadly grip. Any attempt to remove the growths will surely kill both father and son.
Bit embarks on a quest for a doctor who can free Dash and the King from their bonds. Along for the trip to Plain World is the Countess Petunia. Pet is more suited to her lavish lifestyle than a harrowing journey and may have her own agenda. Meanwhile, Jen must learn to trust a strange young man named Blue to escape from the wicked Queen Naryfel.
Through the clever use of back-story, Silverberry allows us to see the magic and power of Wyndanoâ€™s Cloak and how Jenâ€™s first attempt to use it almost cost her life. Finding the Cloak and overcoming her fear of using it may be the only way to stop Naryfel once and for all.
A.R. Silverberryâ€™s creativity and imagination are second to none, but it is the character development that really shines in Wyndanoâ€™s Cloak. These young ladies are easy to relate to and cheer for. Whether itâ€™s Jen who learns to trust others and herself, or Bit conquering her self-esteem issues, or Pet who learns compassion, they grow and mature as the author puts each through a series of ordeals testing their makeup. Silverberry is no slouch either when it comes to plotting a page turner, as he has infused enough conflict and suspense to keep the most distracted reader intrigued. His knack of closing assorted chapters with a cliffhanger is a brilliant technique that wonâ€™t let you stop reading.
Frightening creatures, a horrible antagonist, friendship, courage, and more in a coming-of-age soon to be classic that is certain to keep kids entertained and away from the TV and video game system for long stretches. Highly recommended and rated a Must Read for fans of Young Adult fantasy.
Reviewed by William R. Potter.