Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow
After winning a contest for a popular game called Wordwick Games, five teens Gemma, Sparks, Rio, Kat, and Jack, are invited to stay at Wordwick Games inventor Henry Word's mysterious castle and play the newest level of Workwick Games. Little do they know, the castle is the doorway to a wondrous world call Anachronia where words can be used as weapons, power, and commodity. There is unrest in Anachronia, and if the five teens can follow the rules of Wordwick Games and prove to be the best player, one of them will be crowned Ruler of Anachronia.
Gem recognized the voice instantly as that of Henry Word. After his online announcements, she was hardly going to forget. He must have come into the hallway through a side door. She turned to greet him with the others, expecting to look up into the already half-familiar face, and had to adjust the direction of her gaze when it turned out that Henry Word was sitting down.
He was sitting down because he was in a wheelchair.
It was quite a high tech wheelchair, obviously custom made and designed around Henry Word, but there was no escaping the fact that it was there. From the waist up, Mr. Word was dressed conservatively, even elegantly, in a suit and silk tie. From the waist down, his legs disappeared beneath a tartan blanket. They didn’t appear again on the other side.
“A small accident from my army days,” Henry word said, and Gem found herself wondering if he’d read her mind in the second it took to decide that the others probably looked just as surprised as she did. Gem realized that, in all the pictures she had seen of Henry Word either online or in magazines, not one had shown more than his head and shoulders.
Henry Word laughed then.
“I can see I’ve caught you all rather by surprise. Still, before I turn into the main topic of conversation, can I take a moment to welcome the five of you?’ his gaze flicked to each of them in turn, and Gem guessed that he was matching names to faces in his mind. “You are all here, of course, because you have turned out to be some of the biggest fans of my little game. Congratulations on that. For the next week, you’ll be staying in what I hope you’ll find to be extremely comfortable surroundings, and you’ll get the benefit of a very special surprise.”
“What surprise?” Rio asked from behind Gem. Henry Word chuckled again.
“Ah, Riordan Roberts, I take it? Well, there is nothing to be suspicious about. In fact, I think that as fans, you will all enjoy this particular surprise. I have simply decided to allow you access to the tenth level of my game while we are here.”
Gem felt her brow furrow.
“But Mr. Word, aren’t there only nine levels?”
“That’s true at the moment,” Henry Word answered. “Anachronia is rather new. You will be among the first to play it. Still, let’s not focus on that too much now, shall we? Chef has excelled himself in the Great Hall, and I’m sure you must all be hungry after your journeys.”
“It’s very straightforward really. Your goal when playing it will be to win the crown of the kingdom of Anachronia, using all your wits, skills and talents. The people will only give the crown to someone who can do three things: end the threat of the three-headed dragon terrorizing the land, unite the two warring clans that live there, and help the people of Anachronia flourish. Is that clear?”
Gem nodded. Several of the others did too.
“It sounds simple,” Sparks said, beside her.
“Oh, it’s not as easy as it sounds,” Henry Word continued, “which is why there are a few other things you should know. First, beware the Wickedly Woods where the dragon lives. It isn’t the only danger there. Second, remember that you can work together, even if only one of you can rule in the end. Third, and most importantly, remember that words have power in Anachronia, finding the right words, the Ruler Words, along the way will make your time far easier.”
Review: Disclaimer: I received this book from the author.
An enjoyable young adult fantasy novel with a competent main female character.
I enjoyed the clever mix of science fiction and fantasy. The fantasy aspect obviously takes a much bigger role than the science fiction part, the science fiction aspect brings up a number of intriguing questions. If Anachronia is real, how do you get there and how did they figure out how to get there? What are those pods the kids go into? I am definitely intrigued to read the second book. It looks like it will answer a number of the questions I have. The fantasy aspect was your standard fantasy fare, which I like.
I liked Gem because she was a smart, competent, and caring person. Unfortunately, she seems too good to be true. She doesn't have any flaws that I can see and she always make the right decision so no one else gets hurts. What I really liked about the first Dragon Age video game was how the decisions were not black and white and someone always got affected by that decision. I would have liked to see some flaws in Gem. I liked the rest of the characters well enough although no one stood out too much.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy young adult fantasy.
Kailin Gow is the award-winning, international bestselling author of over 80 distinct books.
Kailin Gow is also the President of a media company, a media personality, and has been writing full-time since she was first published. Holding a Masters in communications management and leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations, she puts her leadership abilities, her experience, and desire to help others into her fiction books. As a result, she has written the forthcoming, Finding the Heroine in You book which is also a national tour. She is a mother and spends whatever spare time she has volunteering at the Red Cross, Battered Women's Shelters, and other organizations.
Currently her Frost Series is in development for a major international MMO Game, and she has over 14,000 and growing Frosters on her facebook fan page.
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