Monday, November 15, 2010

Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage

Farworld: Water Keep

Author: J. Scott Savage
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

3½ out of 5 stars

It’s a place of his imagination. A place he dreams of to escape the harsh realities of life. A place of his own. If only it were real, if only he could go visit and spend time in this fantasy world. Well… he can, and he will, but not just yet. This magical world is Farworld, where magic is not something only fantasized in books, but real. Everyone can do magic, spells, and much more. Marcus can do magic too, even though he doesn’t live on Farworld… but Earth.

Farworld is Marcus’s world of escape and desire. It’s definitely better than where Marcus is now. Marcus is thirteen years old, and is disabled. He is constantly teased and taunted as he travels from foster homes to boarding schools, because of his crippled arm and leg and his wheelchair. No matter, Marcus is never harmed by the other children’s pranks and high jinks, because he can somehow sense them before they happen. Sense them? How is that possible? Oh, and I forgot to mention that Marcus can also… well I wouldn’t say turn invisible, but that’s basically what it is. He can somehow make it so that peoples’ gaze just reflects right past him. Impossible, you might say! But not for Marcus, and not on Farworld either.

As Marcus is in a “time-out” for some trouble that occurred with a group of boys, he closes his eyes and travels to Farworld to visit once again. Something’s wrong though, the girl he usually sees in his dreams, Kyja, disappears suddenly, and an evil looking man, no not a man, a creature, is bearing down on him. And just like that he wakes up, but what he finds as he slips back into reality is that same creature waiting for him, here on Earth! Marcus tries to escape, but in the process of doing so he ends up in… Farworld? Marcus has no idea what is going on, but is suddenly thrust into this world that he thought was only a figment of his imagination. But he must hurry for the Dark Circle is hunting for him and Kyja. Will Marcus ever make it back to Earth? And is there more to him then he thought? All is revealed in J. Scott Savage’s mystical and immersing adventure, Farworld: Water Keep!

Filled to the brim with a sense of wondrous discovery, Farworld: Water Keep is a delightful read that held me enraptured in this new world. This is a fun story, with new things never seen before. I loved how the author, J. Scott Savage, really made this book, and what was in it, his own. I suggest Farworld: Water Keep for kids and young teens, as it will delight anyone with its extraordinary creatures and sprawling new land.

What I liked best about this particular book was that J. Scott Savage made it very unique and genuine. I really felt like Farworld was a world that I had never seen before. Yes, there were wizards and magic, but nothing was quite what I was used to. The magic took on entirely different qualities, the creatures were many that I had not heard of before, and the land was not as I thought it would be. I enjoyed this, as it made me feel as if I were reading an entirely different fantasy style novel. My favorite thing about Farworld: Water Keep was how the creatures were new and enhanced, and not like your typical fantasy creatures, such as the mist steed, the unmakers, and the flying, fire-breathing skytes.

I also enjoyed how Farworld and Earth seemed to be connected. That some components about the two worlds were alike, while others were complete opposites. When Kyja and Marcus traveled between Earth and Farworld, it was especially interesting that some objects stayed the same between the worlds, while others changed shape or form. This was also evident, as certain landmarks or landscapes were common in both worlds, and that by traveling the distance in one world you could essentially travel the same distance in the other when you teleported. I hope to see this continue in the sequel to Farworld: Water Keep, Farworld: Land Keep.

However, I felt that Marcus and Kyja seemed to be able to jump in-between worlds too often. This was because when they first tried this out, it was something of awe and revelation, but then it became a common thing. It soon became quite easy for Marcus and Kyja switch between earth and Farworld at an increasing rate.

I also didn’t enjoy how I felt like I didn’t have a strong sense of Farworld. Throughout Farworld: Water Keep, I would hear about certain creatures, characters, or places, but then… that was it. There would be no going into detail about them, or really emphasizing these new things. I was a little annoyed by this, as I wanted to learn more about this new world. Also, some things were left unexplained that I felt really should have had more emphasis, such as what the Thrathkin S’Bae, the Summoners, and the Elementals really are, and what it meant for Marcus and Kyja to be stuck in-between when they traveled from Earth to Farworld. This would have given me a better understanding of Farworld in general. To me, it seemed that from my first visit to Farworld, I didn’t learn very much about it.

When all’s said and done, Farworld: Water Keep is an excellent tale of two young kids on the search for their rightful places. Join Kyja and Marcus, as they travel to find the four elemental keeps and explore each others’ worlds, in Farworld: Water Keep!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Farworld: Water Keep website at
Farworld: Water Keep is available from Amazon here.

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