Artania: The Pharaoh's Cry

Young Adult

FANTASY:  Bartholomew Borax III can't play outside, go to school, or most importantly, create art. Alexander "Alex" DeVinci has his art studio and is encouraged to be artistic, but when his mother falls ill, he stops being creative. After the boys’ eleventh birthday, they start having visions and nightmares which is a cry from another place, Artania that depends on the people of earth to do art. There is a dark army set on destroying the world by getting people to stop being creative. The boys are called into Artania to defeat the dark army. The boys, an unlikely pair, must learn to work together with creativity to save Artania where art lives.

Highly imaginative and poignant, "Artania: A Pharoh's Cry" makes a point of how important art and creativity is. It's an evocative piece that drives home an essential message. The two main characters are a high contrast to each other and make for an exciting mix when they have to work together to save Artania. An unlikely alliance forms between them and their development along the storyline is well done. The world building is well crafted and believable. All of the different creatures have intricate details. There is a well-defined line between good and evil leaving one wanting to root for the good guys. Though the ending is disappointing, leaving a lot of the plot unresolved, overall, the narrative is innovative and entertaining and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Jessica Samuelsen