For as long as anyone in the world of Tridea can remember, large crystals have lined the landscape, possessing and exuding powerful magical energy.
When a meteor crashes into Tridea and the crystals are infected by a darkness. The populace of elves, fae and feline races discover a great danger. A virus is released, capable of controlling all humans.
Humans are vulnerable… easy to control… dangerous.
For Rush, Spark and Feather, what started off as a simple scouting mission to monitor the affected humans, turns into a dangerous journey. Where their unity and endurance will not only be tested, but challenged.
In the darkest of times… they must stand together.
Despite their initial attitudes towards humans, they realize that if they are to survive and save Tridea, they will need to overcome their differences and face the darkness.
Received and ARC from author in exchange for an honest review.
Review written by Syd Jack
The fantasy world of Tridea is covered in magical crystals. The protectors of the crystals, the Crystal Knights, have passed down a legend of five Crystal Children who will come together and save Tridea. Until Rush, an elf, comes across the Crystal Knights, he has no idea that he and his friends are four of the five Crystal Children, and must save Tridea from destructions. Dark Shadow Soldiers terrorize Tridea, controlling the humans with an evil curse. Rush, his elven friend Spark, Faith (the princess of the city of Sunoral), and their fairy companion, Feather, must unite with the human Crystal Child, Mark, who is not controlled by the curse, if they are to find a cure for the darkness. Five heroes … one fantastical land. Nothing comes without dangerous consequences, and time is running out. Will the Crystal Children restore peace to Tridea before Sunoral falls?
The characters in this book were likable, although at times difficult to relate to. Some characters, like Spark and Faith, seemed overly emotional and melodramatic at some points. However, the characters were three-dimensional enough that I actually cared what happened to them.
The plot took some nice twists and turns, although things got hard to follow in some parts. The subplots were good touches, like the love story ones and Faith’s desire to explore beyond Sunoral despite her father’s warnings of the dangers outside its walls. However, the subplots (aside from the love story ones) did seem to get resolved too quickly, and the love story got quite a lot of focus for how rushed (no pun intended) it felt. I mean, it seemed like Rush and Faith knew each other for a few days – or about ten pages or so – before they were all over each other. Mark and Spark had a thing going while Spark was unconscious, before they’d even really spoken to each other – almost literally the “love at first sight” cliché found in so many old Disney movies (Snow White, anyone?). The love story with Rush and Faith started to make more sense after they got thrown into more danger together, though, but the start’s almost as painfully awkward as it must have been for Spark when she found out about it.
On a different note, though, I liked how you could see into every character’s head. There’s some pretty good world-building going on, with the big airships, floating islands, good descriptions, variety of species and whatnot. The land of Tridea was relatively well-described, and it sounded cool enough that it’d be worth drawing a map. That would be a nice addition to the book. Also, the “lore” section in the back is cool – it could use some more species in there besides elves and kits. Maybe fairies, and the humans of Tridea (i.e. how are they different from ordinary, real-world humans)?
The language flowed well in some places, but not so well in others. I might sound stingy, but the grammatical errors bothered me a lot (e.g. the sentence fragments – sentences sometimes start with the word “which”).
However, the premise of the main plot is compelling and creative, the setting is interesting, and the characters don’t get what they want without a struggle or consequences. I’d recommend it for ages 10-14. Also, look out for the sequel, The Elemental Crisis, this year!
Parental Advisory: fantasy violence, some drinking, romance (Ages 10-14)