Owl King Publishing, LLC

ForeWord CLARION Reviews

Shadow from the Past Cover
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Young Adult Fantasy is one of the most lucrative genres in fiction. Faced with bestsellers like the Harry Potter series and classics such as the Chronicles of Narnia, an author is met with enough daunting competition to make even a talented newcomer shrink back, intimidated by successful books already on the market. There is, however, another side to the popularity. The blinding limelight may shine on anyone in the vicinity who happens to have a good idea. If that novelist is also an outstanding storyteller, then joining the crowd is a smart decision.

Shadow from the Past is an excellent example of the "differently the same" concept at work. At first glance a critic may be inclined to dismiss this novel as another brilliant attempt at imitation, but Rappaport has managed to avoid the pitfalls of mediocrity. Concise writing, good editing, and appropriate pacing set this story apart from far too many that fail in rapid productions. This work is Book Three in Legends of the Four Races, Book Three in the Weapons Trilogy, and Book One in the Necromancer Trilogy, what the author calls "an interlocking matrix of nine fantasy novels" divided into six trilogies still in process. Three books in this elaborate series have been release. Though complicated to the uninitiated, to an aficionado it rivals visual entertainment and video games in appeal.

Laced with symbolism and positive morals, Shadow from the Past is the story of Jarlen, an apprentice to an Arboreal wizard, and Tyraz, a Ferfolk warrior. In enemy camps, the two must learn to work together to solve the mystery of bizarre fires. If they do not succeed, their respective armies will go to war while blaming one another. With the peace and stability of their homes at stake, these protagonists are propelled by overwhelming motivation to save themselves and those they love.

E. A. Rappaport is an elusive writer. With no biographical information advertised, the reader is left to wonder about the origin of these fantastical, award-winning novels that have film and board game development potential. The Legend of Ogma and Forging Paradise are also available through Owl King Publishing.

Though targeting young readers, this series will attract adults with a passion for spine-tingling adventure and surreal description. Filled with magic and mystery, Shadow from the Past brings to life an electrifying realm where the forces of good and evil wage battle. The sophisticated anti-war message underlying this simple tale will not fail to disappoint hardcore fans of the fantasy genre.