Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog Tour: Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims

A medieval masterpiece of adventure, romance and horror, younger readers of Paolini and Cashore will gobble up this award-winning debut.

An Ancient Prophecy. A Powerful Relic. An Insatiable Evil. When all three converge, the fate of every living thing will be in peril.

All her life Catherine had hoped to see a fairrier cat. No book, no scroll provided to her by her tutors had ever mentioned this legend, much to her frustration, and now-at the worse possible time-she was getting her wish. Only, in her wish the cat wasn't about to kill her.

A 732-year-old fairrier cat the size of a horse has killed his fair share of hunters. Driven to the brink of extinction for the supernatural powers of his coat, is he indeed the last of his kind?

Sheltered, 16-year-old Catherine is about to find out. Unwitting heir to the Ancient Onyxes, she flees an arranged marriage only to stumble upon the cat's secrets, the force of the ancient relic she wears, and the dangerous mission they must undertake.

Hidden under a desert that was once a fertile land, millions of predators are waiting to feast again. Catherine must discover the secret of the Ancient Onyxes and stop the creatures known as trodliks before they consume everything in their path. A whispered prophecy becomes her only guide and a rejected suitor just might be the one warrior she desperately needs.
For readers ages 12 and up.

I had a bit of difficulty getting into the book. I realize this is a fantasy novel, and as such, there is always the need for extensive world-building, but I just couldn’t get really past that.

It has all the traits that could make it a great book: a unique premise filled with fully-fledged characters. It’s really just the pacing that it the most distracting. Since this is supposed to be for younger readers (middle grade) I fear it might not be the best way to keep them interested for long.

Catherine, the protagonist, was pleasant to read about. She has all the makings of a great heroine. She’s brave and loyal, yet she has her own fears and flaws that make her someone believable. The rest of the characters don’t fare as well, but she makes up for this lack.

All in all, this is one I’d probably not recommend mainly because of its sluggish pace, but also because there are many elements which have been done before. It’s not really adding anything new to a genre that is slowly losing its audience. Epic fantasy, even for middle graders, needs better storylines to represent it.

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