Never tried Fantasy before? Here's your chance. As Akshay says, this is a great book for people looking to try their first fantasy read...
The review can be found here - Akshay Bakshi: Xannu - The Prophecy review
Juggling two parallel worlds, storylines and switching between them smoothly isn’t an easy task but Paul Dorset does this throughout the book and even makes it feel natural. The life of Terry West is one all of us have dreamed of, whisking away to a different world, having adventures but still returning in time for your mother’s wonderfully cooked food. Dorset employs a tiered approach to introducing his characters and new ones keep coming in till the very end. This method works very well for the most part and is even necessary to unfold the story properly and keep the identity of the Xannu a mystery but the people who come late into the story feel slightly underdeveloped. The villain, Mayhem, supposed to be the enemy if the Almighty one, doesn’t seem strong enough to be so. He’s good (bad ?) enough to be an antagonist but he can’t seem to pull off being the nemesis of all that is good. On the other hand, the character of Maria Pengollen is written damn well. The protagonist Terry West is very human, acting like any 12 year old would but its Maria who took me for the real ride. Though she is supposed to be a mother of perception, supposed to help and heal people, she is also new. Dorset’s words reveal her inexperience and determination equally well.
One of the highlights of the story, is the friendship between Joe And Terry. Their friendly banter, personal troubles, school life are nearly perfect. The language Dorset uses is exactly how preteens talk, and is a huge help to the narrative. However, the problem is that some of this language and feel carries over to the other world as well where it feels weird because the setting of The Southern Lands is in medieval times. The prophecies mentioned at the beginning of every chapter and provided at the end of the book splendid, I wouldn’t mind reading a book of verses written by Mr. Dorset.
After going through weeks of epic fantasy, Xannu was exactly what I needed, an easygoing but imaginative tale. It took me back to fantasy at it’s simplest level and is a great read who people thinking of starting the genre and seasoned readers looking for a refreshing story. 7/10
The Indie Blog mention is on Spalding's Racket
Go check these out and then head over to Amazon or Smashwords to pick the book up for $0.99!!
Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?
English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'
If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?
Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.
How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!
Book 1 of 'The Southern Lands' saga
“Listen to the teachings of a wise man. You may not understand all he says but you will surely have nourishment for the future. Be positive and plan for success. Failure to plan is to plan for failure. Worry not at what came before but only prepare yourselves for that which is ahead.” (Pika’Al 10:1-5, The Scriptures of Al’Zaneed)