Saturday, March 19, 2011
Book Review -- The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Book Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Authors: Luke Hays and James Elmore
Genre and Target Market: fiction; fantasy; historical
Publication Date: 2010
Book Length in Pages: 128
Reviewed by: Sarah Moore
While everyone has their own biases and experiences they bring when approaching a work of literature, my connection to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice may not be exactly what the writers had in mind. My childhood years were marked by the hours I spent reading Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. I loved the excitement and wildness of the era in which these novels were set, as well as the strong female characters that were intent on creating their own path. Already being a fan of this backdrop, I was able to embrace the context within which the storyline of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice played out and then allowed my imagination to be taken in an entirely new direction.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, by Luke Hays and James Elmore, is set in the years just following the Civil War and there is indeed a bold young woman who became a personal favorite of the characters I met. However, that is where the similarities to the books of my youth end. The novel focuses on the lives of a boy named Ethan Alexander, whose father was murdered and mother was kidnapped when he was just an infant, and Union Captain Jonathan Silas, the man who adopted Ethan and raised him as his own. Jonathan is a full-blooded wizard and teaches his son the craft with which he has also been gifted. Ethan also learns quickly that those who possess magical powers and use them with respect and for good will always be confronted by an opposing darkness that is jealous and violent. What follows over the next 128 pages is a story that includes the innocence of young love, the terror of forces operating out of evil, the pain of betrayal, and the strength of family.
Readers who are naturally drawn to the world of fantasy will undoubtedly become fans of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as Hays and Elmore display a masterful knowledge of the language and effect needed to create a sense of magic and supernatural rivalries. The authors also show a wise development of their characters by making them relatable to the target audience. What we first witness as a classroom dispute between Ethan and his nemesis Cedric expands into the greater analogy of the fight between good and evil as Cedric is eventually brought into the fold of the Master who is working to destroy the Silas family. These teenage boys personify the two philosophies that meet in battle, and what young man can’t relate to the idea of a school bully being a minion for greater evil? The struggle culminates in a action-packed scene that had me reading quickly to discover the outcome and then re-reading to ingest every facet of the confrontation.
While admittedly not well-versed in the catalog of literature focusing on warlocks, wizards, evil beings who summon the dead, and those of magical composition either full-blooded or half-blooded in nature, I can appreciate a well-written book that pays attention to the details and creates a powerful visual in the minds of its readers. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Luke Hays and James Elmore is such a book. Its pages contain elements that will frighten, inspire, anger, and stir compassion in all those who curl up for a great read. Hays and Elmore are promising young authors who will only continue to improve their storytelling skills over time, and I look forward to encountering their work for years to come!
Posted by Sarah at 11:35 AM