Families can be tricky…
Especially when you dad is missing, your mum is hiding a big secret and a strange woman – who looks oddly familiar – is trying to steal your magic from you, which you don’t even know you have because no one EVER tells you anything…!
When Raine spontaneously shoots a blue flame from her finger and breaks a window, even she can’t deny the magic running through her. Being banished to the basement and finding a cursed baby dragon means life is about to change.
But Raine’s powers serve a prophecy and dark forces are gathering…
With her unreliable magical encyclopedia and a group of weird and wonderful allies, can she find out what happened to her father, fulfil her destiny and still save the world?
How hard can all that be?
I love the interwoven essences of classic fantasy tales we all know and adore. From mythology to folklore, fairytales to modern magical realism, this Narnia-esque story is a purely enchanting parallel slip into another world with fantastic creatures and scorned enemies. Also, it’s a story of a young, seemingly ordinary pre-teen unravelling her own identity and powers she could never have imagined. Raine in the Underlands: The Lorekeepers is the first in this exciting series for middle grade lovers of fantasy, suspense, magic, humour and action all combined in one EPIC adventure.
E M Greville has built a fascinating dual setting with Raine’s drab life in Scutter’s Alley (endured with peer taunts, a secretive mother and abusive step-father, Bruiser), and this magical world, stumbled upon after being banished to the basement. The strange wizard with a pet bag and a toy monkey, and the accidental shooting of a blue flame from her finger that happened earlier all starts to make more sense as Raine enters the Underlands with her new allies; farty / burpy dragon, Little Thirty-Five and his family, the toy-turned-live familiar, Monkey, and the bag containing a magical encyclopedia of mysteries. Raine’s quest involves much uncovering about the prophecy set upon her, despite the premature timeliness and her trepidation in facing her own inner challenges with courage and self-assurance. Here she is, destined to defeat the dark forces and save this unfamiliar world, to reveal the mystery of her father’s disappearance, and to learn who, or what, she can trust being this newly powerful half-warrior princess and half-witch. Dragons, trolls, dwarves, fairies, cyclopes, wizards, witches, enchanted forests, darkness and epic battles – it’s every bit as exciting, nail-biting and wonderful as it sounds. Leaving you with a cliffhanger of an ending…
I loved Raine – this relatable, admirable and growing lead character, and her journey that engaged plenty of giggles, just the right amount of anguish and fast-paced action. Raine in the Underlands: The Lorekeepers is an enjoyable, imaginative adventure with the power to enthral readers with its mix of real-life issues and fantastical supernatural themes. The main message remains clear – ‘Love conquers all’.
Review by Romi Sharp.
Please find E M Greville at her website: E M Greville | children’s author
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