Review - The Forgotten Palace: An Adventure in Presadia
By Luke Aylen
March 19, 2019
'Antimony 'the tall dwarf' finds the broken shards of a magic mirror. Within the shards he glimpses the ruins of a palace and sees a vision of it restored. He gathers the shards up and lovingly restores the mirror. Returning to admire the mirror, he finds a stranger who shows Antimony a fuller version of his vision in the mirror. Excited, Antimony rushes to show others and he explains to the dwarf high council that he believes they must restore the palace. Unfortunately, the builders are noticed by the local ruler, 'the Usurper'. He resents the idea of the king returning so sends his troops in the night to destroy much of the building work. The builders are demoralised and Antimony runs away from his quest. Heading back to the mirror, he once again meets the mysterious stranger, who helps him understand his true identity and gives him hope and self-esteem.'
It isn’t compulsory to have read the first novel ‘The Mirror and the Mountain’ to thoroughly enjoy this second book. Still set in the world of Presadia this next book artfully avoids any potentially confusing details from the first novel. This book is like a mix of The Hobbit for the adventure and ‘journeyings’ aspect and a bit like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in the sense that you have a group of people coming together from all aspects of life and working together. Very imaginative from the get go, the haunting ruins of the Forgotten Palace itself are looming and impressive. The world of Presadia itself is wonderfully thought out and impressive.
The real world aspect of the novel is highlighted by the fact that it encourages younger readers to embrace differences and the importance of being non-judgemental. Especially with the wide cast of characters within the novel, the value of a wide cast of characters is imperative to teach younger readers. The necessity of kindness and how such a vast group of people from the hero Antimony to a magma-worm called Sparks all are engaging and empathetic.
As a story to read, especially for the age group, it was a fun adventure. This is the perfect book for readers aged 10 and upwards and is a classic children’s fantasy. The story is fun to read and has adventure and shimmering detail. The story is journey and dialogue driven, for younger children I think having dialogue heavy novels is important and a good thing as it teaches children new words and how to talk to one another. The great dialogue helps the story move forward and propels the characters into different situations and makes them three dimensional. Through the well-paced dialogue and emotive language I was able to connect with the characters and build empathy towards Antimony. He was one of the best well-rounded characters and I think readers will relate to his problems.
Overall, it is a magical story perfect for readers and the story of a loveable quest to restore his King’s Palace. An Adventure in Presadia is a delightful children’s fantasy novel with real-world relevance and an important read for younger children.
Despite having dyslexia, Luke Aylen began writing stories from a young age. At 26, he already has two novels to his name, and he intends to continue writing alongside his future career as a vicar. His latest novel has powerful allegory and looks at timely real-world issues including society’s attitude to refugees and rebuilding a fractured community. The Forgotten Palace: An Adventure in Presadia published on 23rd March 2019 is Luke Aylen’s second children’s fantasy book.