Publisher's Note:  

Even though thirteen year-old Marcus Kanenas is confined to a wheelchair, he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place ¬Farworld. When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two ¬worlds. But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass s secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld s only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical--Elementals--water, land, air, and -fire--and convince them to open a drift between the worlds. As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S Bae. Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique powers.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Deseret Book

Water Keep

by Jeff Scott Savage

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Overall Review:  

Water Keep by J. Scott Savage is the first installment of the Farworld Series. Each book is named after the four elements:  fire, air, water, land.  The artwork on the cover is very attractive.  So attractive that a certain 10 year old of my acquaintance could hardly wait for me to finish the book so he could take if off my hands. 


The story takes place both on Earth and a place called Farworld.  There are lots of fantastical creatures, many of which differ from the typical fantasy offerings. The author has plenty of intense scenes involving encounters with these characters, but leaving out the gruesome details often present in other mainstream fantasy stories.  This makes the book more appealing for parents of younger readers.


Another aspect of the book which works well for younger readers is the relatively short length of the chapters.  Parents and children alike can enjoy reading this together in short segments.  Any imaginary place with a map automatically goes up a notch or two on the pleasure scale.  Love to see maps in books.  One feature that would improve the reading experience is a pronunciation guide.


Overall, this was a fairly simple read with some as of yet unresolved complexities.  Thank goodness there are three more books to follow. An enjoyable tale with some fun things for any fantasy fan.  Grab a copy and enjoy spending time with your child in the land of Farworld.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Characters threaten others with bodily harm and or lethal injury; characters hit others with objects, including fists; characters are tied up; report of a battle which kills an entire city, no details; report of a character being bloodied and killed in battle; magic is used to kill others; child has injuries and it is implied a parent caused them; an eight page battle involving magic and characters turn to dust; characters in a car accident; short intense scenes in which fantasy creatures try to harm others.


Sex/Nudity:  Character kisses another on the cheek.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Abandonment, physical disabilities, child abuse.

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Reviewed By Susan
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