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review 2016-11-25 01:52
The Sun Singer (Mountain Journeys #1) - Malcolm R. Campbell
The Sun Singer (Mountain Journeys Book 1) - Malcolm R. Campbell

Fifteen-year-old Robert Adams is a normal American teenage boy, with two differences. For one thing, Robert sometimes has dreams that come true. And for another, his grandfather knows the way to a parallel universe. Old Thomas Elliott once told Robert that he must go back to this other land, where he left important tasks unfinished, and Robert vowed to help. But now, Grandfather's health is failing, and Robert must go alone to Pyrrha and finish what the old man began -- if he can.

The Sun Singer is a cut above your typical YA epic fantasy. Robert is an appealing hero, and the other characters in the novel -- in both worlds -- are well-rounded. There's only one elf, and no dwarves or orcs, which is a relief to this somewhat jaded epic fantasy fan. And when magic is afoot, the narrative is often lyrical -- as it should be.

The book ends with a revelation about Robert's family, and the sense that there are more adventures to come. And in fact, I believe the second book in this series is already out. So I'd highly recommend that YA fantasy fans get started on The Sun Singer now.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2016/11/the-sun-singer-mountain-journeys-1.html
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review 2015-03-20 03:15
Conjure Woman's Cat - Malcolm R. Campbell

Conjure Woman's Cat takes on a host of tough topics -- race, class, and sexual abuse -- and tells about them from the point of view of a magical cat.

Lena is the name of the cat in question. She belongs to Eulalie, a conjure woman (in a different neighborhood, she might have been called a hedge witch) who lives in a tiny town in rural Florida. In this era, poor black women still care for the children of wealthy white racists and the Ku Klux Klan stands ready to assist if any black person gets above their station. When a young black girl named Mattie disappears, Lena steps between the worlds to find out what happened to her. And when Lena discovers that Mattie was raped and murdered by some local white boys, she and her conjure woman wreak their own version of justice on the perpetrators.

Of course, when any book is narrated by an animal, readers have to suspend their disbelief from the get-go. I didn't find that difficult with this book. I was quickly drawn in by Lena's unique voice, and by the mysterious goings-on around her and Eulalie. I loved the way Campbell made magic part of the fabric of the place. And I was glad to see those boys get the comeuppance they deserved.

Readers of magic realism will appreciate Conjure Woman's Cat. Highly recommended.

Source: hearth-myth-rursday-reads.blogspot.com/2015/03/conjure-womans-cat-malcolm-r-campbell.html
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