Posted by: Nyxks | July 9, 2007

Onaj’s Horn

Onaj’s Horn (The Silverskin Legacy, Book Three)
by Jo Whittemore © 2007
Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN 0-7387-1125-6
308 pages
Paperback
$8.95 (U.S.) $9.95 (Canada)
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason

The Silverskin Legacy is a short series (three books) which captures the imagination of the young adult reader. Two youngsters (Megan Haney and Ainsley Minks) are enjoying their summer break after completing their freshman year of high school when they are transported to a magical world by their next door neighbor, who happens to be a king in this magical world. Former friends, their relationship has been strained for a few years and they aren’t quite sure how they feel about each other. Unlike many series for pre- and early-teens this one has a bit of an edge. Megan (a less-than-beautiful girl) and Ainsley (a movie-star-handsome boy) bring disparate skills to their stay on Arylon. She is a skilled fencer. He is a skilled martial artist.

Ms. Whittemore has a wonderful way of describing scenes so that they come to life in the mind of the reader. While this book is no Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter epic, it is an exciting story and one which is enjoyable by both young adult and adult readers. There has been a spate of fantasy novels over the past few years. Some of them have been, at best mediocre and some have been well-written tales. This is one of the latter.

Ainsley discovers several unexpected things. First, his father is not upset to be contacted from Arylon, by way of a pot of chili. Second, his father is actually from Arylon. And, third, he (Ainsley) is actually the grandson of Lady Maudred.

Prior to this final volume in the series, Megan has learned to fight and had a magical gem which reacts (painfully) to deception embedded into her body; Ainsley has learned to control his desire to wield magic and suffered a debilitating magical illness which resulted in his acquiring a set of dragon wings.

Along the way they have made friends with a blind dwarf, a young man cursed into ferret form and assorted fighters and mages. They have learned how strong the bonds of friendship can be; have learned that appearances are often not reality; and that there are causes which can unite many types of people.

In this volume it all comes full circle. They are preparing to return home, if only they can survive a few more adventures. Or will they? I won’t give away the ending. But I will say that, if you know a teen who is anxiously awaiting the summer release of the final Harry Potter book, this series can help stave off the withdrawal pains. It is fast-paced, well-written, and easy to find. If you haven’t read the first two books, pick up all three and enjoy the adventure.

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