January 2011

Mama Szrama's Book Picks

Amazon.com helpfully lets you create a store to categorize your favorite books available for purchase directly from them or through used book sellers on their website. I've populated my store, Mama Szrama's Book Picks, with recommended titles for children of all age groups. If you're looking for a gift for your children or a young friend, why not start your search in my book store to pick from the cream of the crop.

The Final Storm

This book, third in the series, picks up chronologically immediately where Book 2 left off. Aidan and his dad are back in Maryland, trying to meet with Robby and convince him of the Scrolls' truth, and Antoinette is still in The Realm, imprisoned in Paragor's prison. Paragor is amassing an army larger than any before, complete with a stronger-than-ever Wyrm Lord (a dragon whose very breath brings death) and the Seven Sleepers ("wolvins," which sound a lot like Tolkien's "wargs"). Sentinal Kaliam is doing everything in his power to defend & gather his allies and build new defenses. Aelic (Aidan's glimpse) is found, badly injured, but alive. Back on Earth, Aidan has discovered that his best friend Robby already believes in The Realm, but that he has been convinced by Count Eogan (the impostor emissary from the previous book) that Paragor is the true hero of the tale.When Count Eogan tries to kill Aidan, Robby decides to serve King Eliam, and is swept into Alleble. Like Aidan & Antoinette before him, he becomes a Twelfth Knight and sets out on a mission, racing against Paragor to find both the Scroll of the Prophecy and King Eliam's scribe Zabediel.

Star rating: 
 
 
 
 
 

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord

Aidan, recently returned from his voyage to The Realm, meets Antoinette, a fellow Believer. They realize that she is being drawn to The Realm this time, and Aidan passes on to her his concern for Robby, as he fears that his Glimpse is following Paragor. Antoinette is drawn into the Realm and becomes a Twelfth Knight just as Aidan did. (Antoinette is Gwenne's human twin) Soon she is off on her own mission defending Alleble. Several of Alleble's former allies are turning from them, citing unfair treatment at the hand of an Alleble emissary whom King Eliam never sent. Rumor has it that Paragor is also trying to awaken evils from ancient prophecies in his desire for power. Antoinette's team sets off through the Blackwood Forest to Yewland in order to try and re-establish their alliance while doing reconnaissance of Paragor's dealings.

Star rating: 
 
 
 
 
 

The Door Within

Aidan is a teenager who has just moved across the country to care for his wheel-chair-bound grandfather "Grampin." And he isn't happy about it. He misses his best friend from Maryland, Robby, and does not look forward to trying to start over making friends. Amidst his fuming, mysterious scrolls appear in his basement, telling an engaging story about life in a parallel world simply called "The Realm." This land and ours were once the same, but after The Schism, the two were separated, with each human in our world having a twin in the other-- not human, but a Glimpse. At the end of the Scroll, a riddle appears, inviting him into the Realm itself, should he go through the "Door Within," which is belief. Hardly daring to believe his luck, Aidan ventures into the realm, where he finds himself welcomed as the "Twelfth Knight" of Alleble-- the last member of a select group sent on a vital mission against Paragor.

Star rating: 
 
 
 
 
 

The Door Within

An intentionally transparant allegory of salvation and spiritual realities. These tales span both our world and "The Realm," which is populated by our twin Glimpses and where the battle for men's hearts and minds is fought. Paragor and its allies continually wage war against the realms of King Eliam the Everlasting. Aidan, Robby, Antoinette and each member of their families must choose to believe in the Realm's reality, or scoff at it as a children's tale. Among those who acknowlege the Realm, will they serve Paragor, or King Eliam?

Wayne Thomas Batson

WTB began writing for his Reading & English middle school students. A Maryland native, married with 4 children, he can be found on the web at Enter the Door Within.