Friday, December 04, 2009

Defenders of the Scroll by Shiraz

Genre: YA Fantasy
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 264
Book Source: From author for review

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 a young princess, named 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 fearless African Warrior, a fiery Amazon Archer, and a spirited Shaolin Monk.

Defenders of the Scroll is an exciting and imaginative ride of action and adventure, set in the fantasy realm of Mythos. The quest of good vs evil is not a new one but the Hall of Shadows (prison for all things evil in Mythos) is definitely a unique and disturbing concept. The book itself is really quite beautiful, each page is designed as a scroll and the illustrations throughout are stunning, adding to the overall package appeal.

When evil is unleashed in Mythos and King Mornak is captured, his 9 year old daughter Dara is left to face dark forces with a scroll and her still developing magic. But when 15 year old Alex is pulled  from his regular teen life into the parallel universe of Mythos the pair, together with characters pulled from Alex's history books must fight for their lives in a battle against the evil Shadowlord and his team of shadow warriors. I really liked Tenzin, Bantu, Maya, Genjuro and Scorpius and thought they were a wonderful addition to the cast of characters.

Whilst I enjoyed the story I have to be honest and say I found the writing a little stilted and unpolished, it didn't always flow smoothly. I had to keep reminding myself that Defenders of the Scroll is probably intended for children and early teens. My guess is; the non-stop, a-new-danger-on-every-page plot would appeal to 9 to 14 year olds. I found the abrupt ending ... "so ends book one" a bit of an anti-climax but I'm looking forward to book 2 and the continuing adventure. Check out the video clip - its great!

Visit The Defenders of  the Scroll website to find out more.


  1. Sounds like a great read for young teens. I like the plot as well.

  2. Sounds good for the age group :)
    Hm, that cover look very 80s

  3. Hi Teddyree!

    It is a non-stop action packed adventure. Great review! I agree that 9 to 14 year olds would love this book.

    Dottie :)

  4. Hmmm...I've been trying to find a good new fantasy book for my 15-year old son for Christmas. The plot here sounds good, but I'm concerned about your comments on the writing.

    Any other suggestions for excellent teen fantasy?


  5. I think most of my kids at school would gobble this one up!

  6. Great review, sounds like a good read for younger readers!

  7. This one has been on our shelf but we haven't gotten to it. Not sure why... none of us care for the cover. Silly, huh? Okay, we'll have to get on this one. Thanks for the review!

  8. I read & reviewed this one a month or so ago. Like you, I thought it was action packed but the voice came across young. Overall, I enjoyed it though. (And coming from someone who generally doesn't like fantasy ... -!-)

  9. I did the same thing at the ending! I really struggle with endings like that because I don't like waiting :)

  10. I just typed up my review today for this one. I agree with you on the writing aspect. But you're a better woman than me. I couldn't finish this one. Good job Teddy!


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