Author: J.R. Simmons
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
When the peaceful kingdom of Fermicia is enslaved by a power-hungry renegade, its only hope lies in a band of unlikely heroes: two children whose musical abilities allow them to harness the power of Ragesong, and their shape-changing guides.
Jake starts his first day of junior high completely oblivious to the fact that he has been chosen for something incredible. That same afternoon, he learns that he has been marked as one with the power to save an entire kingdom. Through the course of his journey, Jake discovers that his advanced musical abilities are peculiarly connected to a mysterious power known as Ragesong. Joined by a shy, young girl with similar musical talents and two Changelings that hold a fierce loyalty to their homeland and king, Jake must learn to harness this ability in order to survive the dangers of a hostile new world.
Jake is thrown into a magical kingdom where he must learn to rely on himself and his own strength to survive. The kingdom is filled with mythical beings and lots of magic. This may not sound very original – how many young boys and girls have somehow stumbled upon a magical kingdom in literature? I’d say thousands – but the author does manage to bring an original spin to the story.
I actually liked Sam more than Jake, because she acted older. Whereas Jake’s behavior seemed more immature than anything else half of the time. The book started out great, but then significantly slowed down while we were introduced to Jake, and then picked up again once he made it to Fermicia.
The book was written smoothly, with a fast-paced narrative, adequate word choice for the age group. Sometimes there was “telling instead of showing” though, which distanced the reader from the characters, but it didn’t happen very often.
I loved the changelings and the other cool, refreshing elements scattered throughout the book. I’d recommend this book for middle graders or the younger group of YA.