Eldearth is a land divided. Many years ago the evil Lord Graieconn rebelled against his brother, forever diving the land between dark and light. Now, a thousand years later the Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light, is dying and darkness is creeping across the land. If a new apprentice is not found soon, the Keeper will die and Graieconn and his forces will control the land. Time is running out, and quickly. Many young men have undertaken the Apprentice Quest and failed. A prophecy has guaranteed the appearance of a new Imperial Wizard, but will one come forward before it is too late?
Princess Arenelle (Nell for short) of Xandria has just turned 11, the age of magic. Rather than being shipped off to Madame Sofia’s Academy of Magic to start her Witch training, she decides to undertake the quest. Her father expressly forbids the action since no woman has ever been an Imperial Wizard. Determined to save her failing land Nell switches clothes with a boy named Owen and sends him to school in her place.
Nell soon learns the quest is not an easy one. Wandering the land in order to find the Palace of Light, home of the Keeper, is a difficult task. As Nell travels with her demi-dragon Minna, she meets new friends and finds new enemies. As she grows closer to her goal she becomes more and more convinced that Eldearth is in bad shape. Nell is close, but will she complete the quest and become the first female Keeper?
Behind the wonderful story is a deeper message of doing what you feel is right, even in the face of great adversity. Nell’s determined and fiery personality is sure to win over any reader, although many of the adult characters can be somewhat two-dimensional. Koller has crafted a new and exciting fantasy world in Eldearth, and the history of the peoples is fully developed.
With a delightful cast of witches, wizards, dragons and other magical creatures, A Wizard Named Nell is sure to be a hit with young fantasy lovers. Older readers will enjoy it too, especially if they can easily overlook the more shallow characters. The book ends in a cliffhanger, so be sure to follow the rest of the story in The Wizard's Apprentice and The Wizard's Scepter. Welcome to the land of Eldearth!
Shady Glade Rating: 7/10
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