A Powerful & Compelling
Meritt delivers a superb debut.
When a feisty teenager Cassandra Wilson discovers a portal into another world accessible through her cell phone she defies her friends and goes in. Thrilled that she gets a chance at exploring the realm her father told her about as a child she finds herself in a turn-of-the-century war zone where she finds out from the old wizard Silvio that's she's a princess. The news comes as a surprise and she's confused as to how to handle it, that is until Valerio, the handsome commanding officer of Alisubbo's cavalry appears. Valerio persuades Cassie to join his revolution to free the people oppressed by King Chavez. Only a foreign princess can hold sway with the Crown, he tells her. And so the adventure begins!
A unique YA Fantasy page-turner that spans the void between vastly different worlds, Gardner captures the most endearing qualities of the genre in a story that’s both refreshing and original. Ostensibly a novel for Young Adults, it’s a genuinely bewitching read as she renders vivid and magical settings that feel wholly authentic whilst readers can be assured she knows how to spin a wonderfully captivating tale. In a genre that often suffers from a deluge of the banal she certainly earns her stripes with characters that are meticulously observed and effortlessly captured in well-nuanced dialogue. Add a multi-layered plot that maintains an essential air of intrigue along with superb world building and there’s much to commend Cassandras Castle, but what makes it really stand out as a YA Fantasy novel and in doing so broadens its appeal, is Gardner’s ability to breathe warmth and life into her characters. Cassie and Valerio are extremely engaging with their thoughts and emotions carefully crafted so that the reader wants to know more about them and how their relationship will evolve. Close your eyes and you can imagine them standing before you, particularly Cassie as she is thrust upon a quest beyond her wildest imaginings.
Magically compelling YA Fantasy from a unique literary voice, Cassandra's Castle is sure to win Gardner a host of enthusiastic new fans and is recommended without reservation.
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With a passion for a good wholesome story D.L. Gardner also (Dianne Lynn Gardner) dives into the adult and young adult fantasy genres. She is both a best selling author and an award winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Dianne loves a book that ignites imaginations, strengthens friendships, spurs courage and applauds honor. Though she targets her stories for young adults, her books are enjoyed by all ages.