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The Guardian of the Gate, by Richard Blackburn Book Review | SFReader.com
The Guardian of the Gate, by Richard Blackburn Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Lachesis Publishing Published: 2009 Review Posted: 6/26/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Guardian of the Gate, by Richard Blackburn
Book Review by Phillip A. Ellis
Have you read this book?
When Jenny visits Stonehenge, the chance combination of ancient Druidic
magic and being in the wrong time and place catapults her back to the
Fourteenth Century. Not only does she have to try and survive there, she
must also find her way back home, at the same time as dealing with an
evil and ambitious son of the local lord, a ruthless neighbor, and the
evil magician who works behind the scenes.
The Guardian of the Gate is the first novel of Australian author
Richard Blackburn. It had previously appeared in Australia, under a
related title, and it has been revised and tightened for this Canadian
edition. As a result, the book is leaner, and the narrative flows
smoothly and quickly.
The protagonist, Jenny, is a believably competent and ethical character.
She has a strong sense of values tempered with humanity and compassion,
and while she faces dangers that threaten her with death and danger,
her choices and actions read consistently with her moral and ethical
compass. That said, Blackburn does not use her to preach to us, but,
rather, to explore her character, and the results of her choices in the
context of a radically different set of beliefs and behaviors.
Although The Guardian of the Gate may initially appeal only to
young girls -- it is, after all, a novel aimed at young adult readers --
it can be enjoyed by readers of both sexes and from younger readers to
adults. It would be a shame for it to receive a limited audience, as it
is an engaging work that entertains on a number of levels, and it is a
book that encourages and rewards repeated readings.
The Guardian of the Gate would make an ideal present for readers
of fantasy, and while a sequel has been published in Australia, and
while Blackburn is writing a third book, it works quite well as a stand
alone novel. I recommend giving The Guardian of the Gate the chance that it deserves.
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