A Captivating, Inspiring, and Magical Fantasy
by T. A. Barron
Series: Atlantis Saga (Book 1)
Paperback Reprint: September 25, 2014
Publisher: Puffin Books
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In a magical land called Ellegandia, a young boy named Promi scrapes by, stealing pies, cakes and sweets to survive. But little does he know that his country is a pawn in an ages-old war between good and evil, battled both in the spirit realm and in the human world. Harboring secrets of his own, Promi teams up with a courageous girl named Atlanta and the two vow to save their land—and each other—no matter the cost. But their vow has greater repercussions than they ever could imagine—in fact, it may just bring about the creation of Atlantis, an island cut off from the rest of the world, where magic reigns supreme.
With his trademark action, adventure, and poignancy,master of fantasy, T.A. Barron explores a new mythology—the origin of the legendary isle of Atlantis. This book is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, Christopher Paolini and, of course, T. A. Barron’s Merlin Saga.
It would be an understatement to say that the opening two chapter’s of T. A. Barron’s Atlantis Rising captured my attention. Less than two pages into the first chapter, the narrative hook grabbed hold, as the protagonist, throwing-knife in hand, eyes set on his target, takes aim. The scene built into an action sequence from which it was impossible to look away.
Atlantis Rising begins a saga, a three part trilogy, that will recount the secret origins of the legendary island of Atlantis. It’s the story of a journey undertaken by young Promi. Promi is a thief, and fittingly so, for he quickly stole my heart. He’s a likeable urchin, almost Dickensian in nature — a loner whose only familial tie is the scrap of a melody from a song sung to him by the ghost of a memory. Though it appears he’s an honorable thief with his own moral code (Promi steals sweets and baked goods to fill his hungry belly, and he won’t steal from kids, the elderly, or mothers with small children.), Promi would be the first to tell you that he’s “definitely not virtuous.” When the seemingly uncatchable boy thief is seized by the authorities and locked away in a dungeon, he meets some mysterious people who open his eyes and start him on a new path.
Ellegandia, Promi’s home, is a special place whose name means “a land set apart”. To give you a taste of the history and mythos of this enchanted territory: A golden flower, eternally in bloom, graces Ellegandia’s flag. In the Great Forest reside beauty and power, in the form of natural magic. There, animals and humans live in harmony. While in the city, those in power — the High Priestess Araggna, her Deputy High Priest Grukarr, and the Divine Monk — far from pure of heart, have taken the land in their greedy grasp, and like a ripe citrus fruit, aim to squeeze from it all they can.
In the Great Forest, we stumble across a forest girl named Atlanta as she sings of magic and mystery. Though young, Atlanta is a spiritual leader among her people. In contrast to the authority figures who value nature for what they can take from it, Atlanta looks upon the forest, and every creature and plant living there, as precious blessings to be not only respected but cherished and protected. Indeed, the trees and animals are part of her extended family. But just as the idyllic setting begins to whisper its story, the peace of the forest is upset.
Soon enough, our two young heroes cross paths and a new friendship is born. Together, Promi and Atlanta find themselves in the midst of a struggle that places them squarely into a riddled prophecy which hints that this battle between good and evil could be the end of all magic! The stakes are high, and the reader’s interest remains equally elevated. It’s a joy to follow the adventures of this unlikely pair as they learn more about one another and themselves. Atlanta serves as a beautiful foil to Promi, and teaches him a great deal. Over the course of the novel, Promi learns about sacrifice, family, home, and love. He finds, to his infinite surprise, that within him — indeed in each of us — rest the seeds of a hero.
Several times I lost myself in Barron’s Ellegandian world, occasionally pausing to reread sections with childlike enthusiasm and wonder. The dungeon scenes are remarkably vibrant, with gruesome bits you’ll not want to watch, but from which you can’t avert your eyes! The beauty of the natural landscape charms and entices with each leaf, mountain, and stream. And though I can’t say much more without venturing into spoilers, there are vivid descriptive passages in this novel that will transport you to another world, maybe even to another realm of existence.
— Dawn Teresa
4.5 of 5 Hearts. A Captivating, Inspiring, and Magical Fantasy.
Atlantis Rising is a rewarding tale of two endearing young heroes who provide hope and love to one another as they strive to protect their land and all its wonders. Readers of the paperback version will be happy to find that the prequel to Atlantis Rising, Never Again: The Origin of Grukarr, has been included in the back. (Check my post about the prequel here, and be sure to read the Q & A I did with T. A. Barron here.)
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Goodman Media International, Inc., and Puffin Books for providing me a copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”