Sometimes having a fairytale prince as a best friend can be a real pain.
Jay didn’t realise that sticking up for Rowan, the gangly new kid at school, would plunge him into the dangers and politics of the magical realm of Sunthyst. But if anyone is up for the challenge it’s Jay September. With his trusty dog, Shadow, at his side, he braves the Watcher in the dark that guards the tunnels between the worlds, and undertakes a dangerous quest to rescue the prince.
It’s a race against time – can he sneak Prince Rowan away from under King Lessian’s nose and bring him safely back home – all before the prince’s sixteenth birthday? Or is Rowan’s mother, the exiled Queen Persia, secretly trying to hold onto her power by denying her son his birthright?
Jay is ready for anything, except, perhaps, the suffocating darkness of the tunnels. And that howling …
Author Nerine Dorman wears her fantasy geek girl credentials on her sleeve in this YA romp. There are sly references to The Lord of the Rings, and liberal lashings of familiar fantasy tropes, from creatures such as werewolves and unicorns to an old-timey royal family to a time-distorting portal into another realm a la the Narnia series. Back in the “real” world of 21st century South Africa, our unlikely young hero also shows many of the hallmarks of a classic YA protagonist; he’s something of a social outsider and is often plagued by self-doubt, yet he abounds with talent both overt (his musical ability) and latent (not telling, because spoilers). The author has carefully crafted the character of Jay to be just the right balance of quirky, relatable, sympathetic, and Very Special Indeed. None of this is to say that The Guardian’s Wyrd is derivative – Dorman is far too skilled a writer for that.
Told in first person from Jay’s point of view, the story starts slowly, with a generous amount of page space given to Jay’s internal musings and misgivings. Once Jay and his new friend Rowan reach Sunthyst, however, the pace picks up dramatically, with plenty of nail-biting tension and heart-racing action, leavened with just the right amount of humour, to keep hold of the target audience’s attention.
The Guardian’s Wyrd is expected to go on sale in ebook format on May 22. Sign up here to be notified when the book has gone live on Amazon and other digital platforms: http://www.word-smack.com/#!newsletter/c152j
An editor and multi-published author, Nerine Dorman currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, with her visual artist husband. Some of the publishers for whom she has edited works include Dark Continents Publishing and eKhaya (an imprint of Random House Struik). Her fiction sales include works to Dark Continents Publishing, Wordsmack, Tor Books, Apex Publishing and Immanion Press. She has been involved in the media industry for more than a decade, with a background in magazine and newspaper publishing, commercial fiction, independent filmmaking, print production management and advertising. Her book reviews, as well as travel, entertainment and lifestyle editorial regularly appear in national newspapers and online. A few of her interests include music, travel, history, Egypt, art, photography, psychology, philosophy, magic and the natural world.
She is the editor of the Bloody Parchment anthologies, Volume One; Hidden Things, Lost Things and Other Stories; and The Root Cellar and Other Stories. In addition, she also organises the annual Bloody Parchment event in conjunction with the South African HorrorFest.
She is also a founding member and co-ordinator for the Adamastor Writers’ Guild; edits The Egyptian Society of South Africa’s quarterly newsletter, SHEMU; and from time to time assists on set with the award-winning BlackMilk Productions.