Donita K. Paul returns with a new fantasy series aimed at middle school readers, filled with unforgettable characters (both human and dragon) in a battle of good vs. evil.
In One Realm Beyond, Cantor d’Ahma trained with an elderly mentor for the past twenty years. He is finally ready to begin his role as a realm walker, a protector and defender of the realms. His first step: find his dragon constant, but he is unprepared to bond with the first dragon he meets, especially since Bridger appears so inadequate. Cantor befriends Bixby, a female realm walker trainee, with colorful clothing and crowns. Cantor’s next assignment is to uncover the secrets of a corrupt Realm Walkers Guild and stop them before it is too late. Together they use their gifts to discover who can and cannot be trusted within the Guild.
Paul is an accomplished storyteller, taking her time to create a world where dragons are constants (similar to sidekicks for superheros), special gifts enable humans to perform their duties as realm walkers, and where good vs. evil is fought on a regular basis. The realms are the different worlds with portals that realm walkers use to travel between them.
Though it starts out slowly, One Realm Beyond engages the reader in the struggle facing Cantor as he progresses in his skills and puts his training to use. Bixby is an endearing character with her quirky ways, and Bridger appears an inept dragon when in fact, his gifts are equally important to Cantor. One Realm Beyond ends a bit abruptly and with a cliffhanger, but that may be a result of being book one in a trilogy.
Recommended for public libraries and school collections. Fans of Donita K. Paul’s earlier series and fantasy fans will not be disappointed!
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Z Street Team — and I purchased 2 copies for our school library.
Carol R. Gehringer