If you’re able to, press play and read this review while listening to Nicholas White play JS Bach’s Sleeper’s Wake (an important element to our novel).
The people of the Valorim are in a fight for their life. Civil war is happening on their planet, and in an effort to save the Valorim’s greatest contribution, Art, a necklace/chain is formed and sent into the Universe. If Lord Mondus and his minions can’t harness the Art of Valorim, then they haven’t won completely. As the Art of Valorim travels the Universe, it makes its way to Plymouth, Massachusetts and the new (and horrifying) lunchbox of Tommy Pepper.
Tommy thinks the glowing chain is part of his birthday present, and puts it on. He is instantly consumed by the power of the chain. He starts to speak in the Welsh-like language of the Valorim, and shows an extraordinary talent in drawing and painting.
The text switches between life in Plymouth and on Valorim, where the drama hasn’t ended. The remaining Valorim are imprisoned, the traitors have taken office and are on a desperate quest to find the Art of Valorim. To that end, they send Ouslim the Liar out to find the chain.
On the homefront, Tommy is grieving the death of his mother. He lives with his father, younger — suddenly mute — sister in an old ocean front family cottage. The local realtor wants to build on the property and Tommy’s father is battling that move. When the weather becomes extreme, Tommy knows it involves the chain. Suddenly his teacher is missing and a mysterious, fast talking Mr. PlymouthWay takes his place. He understands thy mysterious pictures Tommy draws; the unusual language that peppers his every day speech. When Tommy refuses to yield the Art of Valorim, Tommy’s family goes missing.
When an warrior from Valorim lands in Plymouth to rescue the necklace from Ouslim the Liar/Mr. PlymouthWay, he meets up with Tommy and his schoolmates. Together they battle Ouslim the Liar and put an end to the Battle.
After the battle, things wrap up a bit too neatly when the Realtor decides to give up the challenge for the land. But all in all I really enjoyed the story. The location plays a huge part in the story: even I can see the analogy of aliens landing in Plymouth. Bach’s Sleepers Wake plays a big part in the story: being ready for the coming Bridegroom. I’m sure there are many more analogies that others smarter than myself can point out, but I liked it very much.
When the story is on Valorim, the text is in italics and reminded me of Le Morte de Arthur. The language lyrical with fancy formed sentences. Schmidt has creating a Welsh-like language and for a good portion of the book, I didn’t know there was a glossary. But good readers can read past words they don’t know and find ways to develop meanings. I liked that about the novel. this is an excellent fantasy: the kind I can relate to… I highly recommend it.
So the Valorim came to know that their last days were upon them.
Reading Chick Rating:
If the ending wrapped up a little more realisticallly….