Author: Jack W. Regan
Genre: Juvenile fantasy
Pub Date: April 2009, Sweatshoppe Publications
Trade Paperback, 286 pages
Young Max Ransome watched his father die, killed by marauding phantors as they swept through T'Aragam at the bidding of the evil wizard Zadok. Barely escaping with his own life, Max is thrust into a whirlwind journey as he races against time to save T'Aragam, the world he loves, from a dark dominion. Can Max overcome the horror of his father's death and save T'Aragam from the grasping talons of its enemies?
Woven with a charming mix of zany humor and genuine danger, "T'Aragam" immerses the reader in a world of original characters and tightly-woven plot. Young Max leads the cast and is ably supported by, among others, a faithful medgekin friend named Gramkin, two monster brothers named Doom and Gloom, and an equuraptor named Dresden.
Coupled with quirky supporting characters, such as mercenary Captain Baggywrinkle, Lord Stench, and a perpetually hungry sea serpent named Bob, this cast of characters steps from the pages and pulls the reader into the story.
Normally most of the books I read are for the Young Adult set and older, but when Jack W. Regan contacted me about reading and reviewing his book I couldn't pass it up since I enjoy fantasy so much. And let me tell you, this book was great fun, and I wish it had been around when I was the target audience/age for it.
As you can see from the synopsis, there are some great characters with funny names, but even more importantly, T'aragam is a well-written story that grabs you from the beginning. Regan has done an excellent job weaving an adventurous tale infused with quirky humor that had me laughing out loud many times. Young Max Ransome is thrown into danger early on, escaping an attack on the Ransome Castle only to land in greater danger as he flees. After learning plans that the evil wizard Zadok has, he returns home to do what he can to disrupt Zadok's schemes. Just when you think the story is winding down, Regan throws in a twist to keep you on your toes.
T'aragam is the first book in the Max Ransome Chronicles, and while it's certainly an easy read for me, I am will be likely pick up the next book (when it is available) so I can see how the story continues. Any young reader will likely enjoy this book, and it wouldn't surprise me if this story causes some readers to become hooked on fantasy books in general. It would certainly be a great introduction into the world of fantasy for the younger readers.
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