Thursday, June 7, 2012

QUICK REVIEW: "Little Orphan Anvil: The Shades of Fate" - by Joseph Beekman

by Joseph Beekman

REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz


With the discovery of a "legendary" pumpkin patch in the dark of the deadwoods, the witch returns in this second installment to the tale of magic and metal. The Land of Iron and Anvil is once again threatened with the dark magic of the witch, and the little robot, Anvil, along with some new and old friends, must venture into the shadowy lands of the realm to stop her wicked ways...and seal her fate.


Who would imagine that three children going into the woods looking for a legendary pumpkin patch, could unleash destruction upon the land of iron and anvil - and possibly the whole realm - by simply uprooting one of these pumpkins?  Many years after the evil witch has been killed by one of the three children’s parents, she is still lurking in spirit form ready to awaken as soon as one of her magical pumpkins is harvested.  As though that is not enough, these pumpkins have some deadly magic hidden inside them.  When the two boys, Jonathon and Haley, are possessed by spirits and go off to do the bidding of the witch, Tabitha is left with the task to try and stop imminent disaster.
If you are looking for a book with adventure and suspense from the word go, Shades of Fate is definitely for you.  I for one could not put it down until I had read the very last sentence.  The vivid descriptions of scenery and weather conditions create an atmosphere of constant foreboding, thus turning the whole reading experience into a thoroughly scary edge-of-your-seat journey. 

The author crafts the most unique characters I have ever encountered in the fantasy genre.  There is Tinspar, a thoroughly unattractive looking character, who is bound to steal your heart.  Then, of course, there is our favorite little robot droid, Anvil, who, together with his creator, Will, is called out of retirement to help save the realm.   On the other hand, there are the malevolent creatures who serve to make the journey of those who hope to save the world, difficult and dangerous.  Wisp-fly bats, oil slicks and roots that grab you as you pass are just some of the dangers that’ll send chills down your spine.  Even the places through which they travel have names like “The Valley of Gloom” and the “Cemetery Hills” - just creepy enough to make the hair on the back of your neck rise.

I would recommend this book as a keeper to all ages.  However, young children and the faint of heart might want to read this story well before nightfall.  Although this is the sequel to “Little Orphan Anvil”, it can also be read as a standalone, as the author gives enough back story during the course of this book.       

Five stars and a huge cheer for “Shades of Fate”, and I hope that we'll soon see more of Joseph Beekman's entirely unique brand of fantasy.  This is definitely one writer who can never be accused of borrowing from others. 



“Shades of Fate” by Joseph Beekman has 3 reviews on GoodReads. Read it here.



Little Orphan Anvil Facebook page

1 comment:

Amber Dane said...

Great review!! The book sounds really good