Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Light & Dark:The Awakening of the Mageknight by Daniel M Fife

Author: Daniel M Fife
312 pages
YA Genre Fiction
Goodreads Score :4 stars

This is the debut novel of Daniel Fife and is the first book in the series.
The opening chapter finds the protagonist, Danny Firoth at the start of a new High School term. There is also the arrival of the beautiful Sabrina Drake, a new student. When Danny finds himself cornered in to a fight with the school bully, he experiences the awakening of some incredible force within him, enabling him to win the fight, much to the amazement of all. Then there is the introduction to the card game of Knights that seems to herald importance. The game contains three ‘camps,’ Light, Gray & Dark. Soon, Danny and his friends realise that this is more than a mere card game.

Shortly afterwards, Danny’s world begins to change as shadows emerge along with mythical creatures. This is a world of dragons, shadow shifters and Knights. He rather likes Sabrina Drake, whose ‘faint aroma of wild roses followed in her wake.’ Following his school fight, Sabrina begins to take an interest in Danny and asks if he would like to ‘hang out’ after school. It is then that she first asks if he believes in dragons and the dark.  Both Sabrina and Danny appear destined to be together for more than one reason. Danny realises that so-called mythical creatures are in fact reality.

A magical adventure is beginning and life is changing for Danny who begins to realise that he has new powers and abilities. He goes to White Rock Island with Sabrina and trains at the Academy to become a Knight of the Light. Whilst there, he is addressed as ‘Squire,’ and his caretaker, Calador, is an elf. His adventures also include every dragon lover’s dream of dragon riding. However, there are traitors within the Academy. As in Light & Dark, good and evil co-exist here. Does Danny get his girl? More importantly, does he become the Mageknight? You will have to read it and see for yourselves.

The characters are solid and believable whilst the dialogue is natural and Fife has interwoven narrative with vivid imagery and description into a fine balance. It’s interesting and exciting with fantastical moments in every chapter and a good mix of tension. The world of the Mageknight is well crafted and the characters you meet at the Academy are very interesting. The author has done a great job in developing this fantastical world. Forget YA genre. I would say it is also suited to adults, especially those amongst us who loved the Harry Potter series.

The narrative works well, delivered in the third person. The only negative factor is the pace. The first few chapters are slow but thereafter the pace picks up as the magical world begins to take shape and the adventures begin.
I am not generally a lover of the fantasy genre although I did thoroughly enjoy Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. This book now makes the third conquest on my Fantasy reading list and I would definitely recommend it as a book to read without any hesitation at all. To take it a little further, I dare suggest that it fills the void that Harry Potter's finale has left.

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