Title: Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight
Author: Daniel M. Fife
Format: Paperback and eBook
Genre: Children’s Fantasy / Adventure 12 +
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About the Book:
Danny Firoth is an average thirteen-year-old who finds himself at the beginning of his eighth-grade year, struggling with some of the more common concerns that plague a boy of his age: bullies, homework, and his mother. Sabrina Drake is the new girl. She is beautiful and spellbinding, but carries a fantastic secret.
Accepted into the White Rock Academy of Illumination, a school for young Squires destined to become Knights of the Light and battle the forces of the Dark with magical weapons called Bondeds, Danny joins his five closest friends in the training of their lives. Honed in the techniques of blade work by an Elvin swordmaster and educated by a colorful assortment of knightly instructors, Danny and his friends are placed on the path to becoming knighted members of the Light. However, the Dark may have other plans as they unveil a sinister plot in this fantastic tale of dragon-riding adventure, sword-wielding action, and coming-of-age drama.
So often, I will see reviews that will mention another title, intimating that this is the “same”, and diminishing the book being reviewed by insinuating it is an imitation. While there are obvious correlations to the set-up for the Harry Potter series here, the similarity ends quickly.
This is a uniquely styled blend of fantasy and reality, with characters who are very current and solidly developed, who just happen to be a part of a training programme that involves magic and spells.
Daniel Fife has managed to create a book that even reluctant readers can enjoy: there is enough of the fantastical to break up the mundanity of every eighth grade life, and the ultimate quest of good versus evil, as you are just learning what powers and skills you have makes for a gripping tale. Yes there are friends, and the friendships are tested, and the importance of trust and being there all create small lessons on the way. But mostly: this is a highly enjoyable read that holds your interest from page to page as you learn and discover this new world with Danny.
As the start of a new series – this one shows great promise: the pacing and world-building were well done and maintained after some early repetitive moments. I was fortunate to have received the newly-edited version: and what I had was a very clean, well-written story that managed to keep interest and flow after a bit of a slow start early on. As a debut novel, in a high-fantasy style written to appeal to (but never pander to) younger readers, it was an impressive work. And I am looking forward to book 2 in the Light & Dark Series.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review and inclusion in Children Read week. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Daniel M. Fife was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 27, 1978. He began writing Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight during his years as a graduate student at Ball State University under the major of Counseling Psychology. What began as a simple hobby quickly turned into something more as he found a passion for writing. While carrying the schedule of a full-time student as well as working a part-time job, he devoted himself to write at least one page a day. After graduating in 2007, he received the opportunity to begin practicing psychology as a counselor at a local private practice the very same year. His devotion to writing did not waiver. Working a full time schedule and maintaining a full complement of clients, he maintained his dedication. A year or so later, he completed the rough draft of Light & Dark: The Awakening of the Mageknight and began the editing process, before finally publishing the final draft in 2012.