About the book: A teenage boy.A dark wizard.A mystic scroll. And the fate of a world hangs in the balance. . . When Alex “the Axeman” Logan is pulled from his world to help young princess Dara save her kingdom from the Shadow Lord, he thinks there has been a mistake. He’s a teen guitar player close to failing 11th grade, not some defender of the realm. All he has are some school books, his wits, and his love of fantasy movies. Overnight his life is history. Alex must confront the Shadow Lord and his minions when he is thrust into a land that has changed from a magical paradise to a barren, hopeless, helpless realm invaded by a dark army. But Alex is not alone. He has the help of Dara, a magic scroll, and a band of unlikely companions drawn from his own history books: a hardened Roman Legionnaire, a swift Japanese Samurai, a mighty African Warrior, a fiery Amazon Archer, and a spirited Shaolin Monk. Can Alex become more than he believes and lead his small band of Defenders to the Hall of Shadows, the birthplace of the Shadow Lord? The fate of the realm and everyone in it rests on him.
In Short: What an awesome book!!! It’s got action, lovable characters and a superb plot.
As we enter the fantasy world created by Defenders of the Scroll, we are introduced to 2 main people. Alex, a teenager who is bored with his life, who plays video games having ogres and wizards and feels that his calling in life is different than just going through another torturous year at school. He also leads a rock band called ‘Axemen’.
In another parallel universe, we meet 9 year old Dara, the daughter of a powerful wizard and King of Mythos-Mornark. Mornark is not only powerful but also just and kind. He creates a place called Shadow Hall where all the evil in the Kingdom is banished. This hall lies in the heart of the Shadow forest. But one day, all hell breaks loose, The Hall takes on a life of its own, Mornark is captured and Dara is left alone to find safety and a way to release her father from the prison.
You ask how these 2 worlds meet? There is some goof up with Dara’s magic and instead of summoning the head of their army, Dara summons Alex. What ensues next is a ride through hell- with dark forces, magical creatures and even pirates. We also get to meet many other characters summoned by Dara to help Alex and her with the journey.
Honestly, I don’t remember when I had so much fun reading an action packed fantasy novel before. Every chapter is an adventure and every page has a danger waiting to pounce. It’s like a rollercoaster ride. And all these characters were soooo good, I mean loved them all, even the villain. I loved Dara, Mornark, Alex, Bantu, Tenzin, Scorpius, Maya…and so many more. Is it possible to love so many characters from a book?
One more thing I loved is Alex’s sense of humor and how his usage of slang confused other warriors. Defenders of the Scroll is a fun book, one that will pull you in and make you forget your surroundings. I love how in the beginning I could totally switch my mood from Dara’s world to Alex’s world within minutes without getting confused.
But then again, the 1 star less in the rating couldn’t be for nothing right? One very minor problem I found towards the end was how the warriors used language that was a little…let me say modern, language that I wouldn’t expect from an Amazon Archer or a Roman warrior. But that did not disturb me much, as I said it was a minor complaint. Also a little editing would have helped, as in to shorten the book a little.
The major complaint was the ending of the book. It doesn’t have one. I am okay with leaving enough scope for a sequel but this story kind of ends abruptly. It wouldn’t have bothered me much if this wasn’t an action-packed fantasy novel, but it is, and it has a lot of characters and lots of explanations of why things are the way they are. I’m just afraid that until I get my hands on the second book I might forget all. But I know that’s not the problem everyone has.
Finally, I would say that Defenders of the scroll is a book that men and women, adults and children will enjoy. This book begs to be made into a movie, I would be the first in line to see it. Can you tell I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book? When is it coming out Mr. Shiraz?
Oh wait…I forgot to tell you that I LOVED the beautiful artwork inside. It really is gorgeous.
This book has won the following awards and recognitions.
Winner in the Fantasy and Best Editing Fiction categories, and Finalist in the Action-Adventure and Young Adult Fiction categories of the 2009 Indie Excellence Awards
Honorable Mention in the Teenage category of the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival
Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction and Teenage categories of the 2009 Beach Book Festival
Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction category of the 2009 New York Book Festival
Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction and Best Overall Design Fiction categories of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category of the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival