The New Land: Tales of Avalon Book 1
by Daisy Bourne
Daisy Bourne

"We will endeavour to make our home a happy one, where our descendants will live in peace and harmony with each other. Nevertheless, we should remember that no matter how much goodwill we have come here with, there will always be an element of mischief and evil embedded in some hearts."

Tales of King Arthur and Merlin will probably always be told and retold for new generations, but it’s up to the author to keep the stories fresh. This particular presentation does just that for a younger audience. Bourne picks up Arthur’s tale as he and the world’s wizards, witches, fairies, elves, and other fantastic beasts relocate to Avalon after being hounded and run off earth by constantly warring humans. Their goal is to establish a better life of peaceful coexistence. But, as fate would have it, our intrepid group soon discovers they are not alone on Avalon after all, nor free from the threat of war and violence.

Avalon is already populated by a race of giants living as one with nature in the forest away from the fierce Trejaens. The giants, led by Zog, help the Avalonians to protect the forest. Central to this effort is Willy the Wood Wizard, who can talk to trees, letting the trees determine their own fate.

As Arthur trains the Avalonians for war, his son Edward befriends Daisy, the last of the Brewins, who were defeated at the hands of the Trejaens years ago. The Trejaens ultimately attack and an epic battle between Avalon’s wizards and witches against the Trejaens results. The giants who rarely leave the sanctity of their forest join the forces with the Avalonians. Significant casualties are experienced by both sides.

The book is clearly aimed at younger readers, with short chapters and several well-drawn illustrations peppered throughout. In a tight space, Bourne does an admirable job of building this into a believable new world and populating it with an assortment of interesting characters. Edward and Daisy are both portrayed as sympathetic, likeable characters. Fortunately, this is the first book in a series and readers will get a chance to revisit these characters again.

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