By Jessica Holscher
ASJ Publishing, $9.99, 387 pages
Legend of the Phoenix by Jessica Holscher is a young adult adventure novel filled with fairies, nymphs, gremlins, a phoenix and a fair share of heroes. When main character Ethan is only a baby, he is abandoned and found by a young fairy. When the fairy touches him, he has a vision that a sixteen year-old Ethan will defeat the infamous dragon Ranook and become a hero. The fairy leaves him in the City of Hope to be raised by humans. Ethan grows up believing the prophecy until he turns sixteen and someone kills Ranook before he has a chance. As a result, Ethan begins a journey where he meets a witch, a princess and is given a magical sword. Ultimately he has to battle the evil nymph Dahlia.
Legend of the Phoenix is a fast paced novel which relies mostly on dialogue to further the plot. Holscher’s writing style is simple and she doesn’t provide a lot of imagery or description of the characters. The fairies and the nymphs are interesting, as each live in different worlds with different traditions. The reader may be pulled out of the book by references to things that don’t seem to fit in the world the author has created—like ninjas and photosynthesis.
The beginning of the novel is a little hard to dive into, as the characters seem too idyllic. Ethan’s adoptive parents happen to be the perfect couple. His little sister is adorable without being annoying. He and his older brother are not affected by sibling rivalry. Ethan is nice to everyone, stands up for what is right and is the perfect friend. It is an interesting adventure, even if the dialogue sometimes seems a little out of place. This is the perfect read for a preteen who has yet to develop their palate in literature.
Reviewed by Nicole Green