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Candara's Gift: Book 1 in The Kingdom of Gems Trilogy (Accounts of Candara) Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: SilverWell Publishing; 2nd Edition edition (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095516530X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955165306
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jasper Cooper is the author of the trilogy 'The Kingdom of Gems', which includes the Amazon best-seller 'Candara's Gift'. He is currently working on a new book, 'Gordo', which will be available in autumn 2012.

Jasper was born in Bournemouth on 20th January 1953 and grew up there. He inherited the family love of tennis. From an early age he threw his energy into playing tennis whenever possible because he enjoyed it so much. He had significant success Nationally both as a junior and as a senior. At 18 he played professional tennis for several years winning many British tournaments and was ranked 20th in GB in 1976. He won the British Under 21 Mixed Doubles title.

In his mid-twenties he became a professional coach in both tennis and squash.
At 33, he began a degree in art and religious studies as a mature student at Canterbury Christ Church University. After graduating, he became a teacher and during this time he began to write.

"Becoming an author was a surprise to me. I never intended it... it just happened. Writing stories was the natural extension of making up bedtime stories for my children. First I told them the original Kingdom of Gems story in 10 minutes. They kept asking for it and so one evening I decided to write it down and expected to complete it in one go. I started writing and then read the first page to them before they went to sleep. The next night I did the same. As the days went by I found that the story was growing longer and longer.
Next I painted the kingdom in oils and then drew two maps of the kingdoms in the story, but it was then left on a shelf for 10 years. One day, one of the parents of the children who had read and enjoyed it asked what had happened to it. I got it down off the shelf and read it through. I decided to try to publish it but knew it would need a lot of work. Over the next three years I worked very hard on it... developing the story, improving the writing, introducing new characters, creating another map and illustrations, etc."

'The Kingdom of Gems' became a trilogy of which 'Candara's Gift' is the first book. Jasper has illustrated the book himself with his own unique style. It reached No. 1 on the Amazon Bestseller on its release in June 2006. Since then it has been stocked by Waterstones throughout the UK and is selling well. There has been significant film interest in the trilogy which is being handled by Creative Artists Agency, the biggest and most powerful agency in the world.

Jasper now regularly gives presentations and workshops in schools throughout the country and his new book, 'Gordo', will be available in autumn 2012.

Product Description

About the Author

* Jasper was born in Bournemouth on 20th January 1953. He grew up there. * "My sister was far more of a potential author and artist than I was. She was always writing and illustrating little story books whereas all I wanted to do was play tennis." * His father was a tennis enthusiast who ran a small club in Bournemouth. His father was 52 when he wrote and self-published the first of three editions of Cooper's Annual of Lawn Tennis. His mother played tennis for Hampshire. His grandfather made wooden tennis rackets. * He was Hampshire junior champion 3 times and senior champion 4 times. At 18 he played professional tennis for several years winning many British tournaments and was ranked 20th in GB in 1976. * "Tennis is a terrific game which is a great education for life." * He represented England as a young man in 1974 and again as a veteran in 2000 after becoming the National Veteran's Champion in singles and doubles in 1999. * In his mid twenties he became a professional coach in both tennis and squash. * At 33 he began a degree in art and religious studies as a mature student at Canterbury Christ Church University. "I really enjoyed being able to develop my art skills." * He became a teacher and during this time he began to write. "Writing stories was the natural extension of making up bedtime stories for my children. First I told them the original Kingdom of Gems story in 10 minutes. They kept asking for it and so I decided to write it down. I created and wrote one short chapter each evening and then read it to them at bed time. In this way it grew 93 chapters and 50,000 words long. Next I painted the kingdom in oils and then drew two maps of the kingdoms in the story. At this stage the idea of publishing it as a book appeared as a vague dream in my mind." * The Kingdom of Gems became a trilogy of which Candara's Gift is the first book. Jasper has illustrated the book himself with his own unique style. It reached No. 1 on the Amazon Bestseller on its release in June. Since then it has been stocked by Waterstones throughout the UK and is selling well. There has been significant film interest in the trilogy which is being handled by the Creative Artists Agency, the biggest and most powerful agency in the world. * Jasper is married to Sarah with two children, Rebecca 25 and Joseph 23. "My family have all helped in many ways with my new career as an author. They helped me immensely with their continuous support and enthusiasm. They all act as editors reading through early editions and making notes. Joseph's design skills helped create the cover of Candara's Gift. Rebecca is usually the first to hear new bits of writing. Sarah has brought inspiration in many ways and patiently accepted holes in the carpets and overdrafts so that I could spend time writing."

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Melodie Charbonneau on 10 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to read to my 9 yr old brother. We can't put it down. He's never asked me to read to him so much in his whole life! we read 7 chapters in one day yesterday! the twists and turns keep you on your toes and you WANT to turn the page to see what happens next. I'm enjoying it as well as he is and I'm 22 :)

I would definatly recommend this book. I know I'll be treasuring my own copy for years to come to read to my own children. Great book. Can't wait for the next one!

Great job Jasper :)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. T. Thomas on 10 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
Candara's Gift is definetly my type of book
My Mother got this from amazon to support Jasper Cooper
and I asked if it was a children's book. My Mother said yes and I picked it up and could not put it down!!!
Jasper Cooper describes everything in a wonderful way!!
The Characters are brought to life ande the suspence grows and grows.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to the next book and trilogy!!!!!!!!!
Thank-you so much Jasper Cooper and Good Luck

Helena Thomas
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Pope on 22 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book out of curiosity after a tip off from a friend. Although this is essentially a children's book, I could not put it down despite being in my late 50s and almost missed my bus stop on several occasions.

It is descriptive without being too heavy, and on several occasions could see Disney making it into a movie, especially the comic scenes with the ravens and the albatross with it's crazy way of taking off and landing. I wouldn't be surprised to see it up among the other successful children's classics and can't wait for the next book to be published.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bluspels on 17 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
A fine and absorbing story for 8 - 13 year-olds and anyone with a love for the fantastic. In fact, if you love fairy tales, magic and mystery you'll love "Candara's Gift". As the author skilfully weaves his tale about the troubled Kingdom of Gems he introduces us to a host of memorable characters - Joog the snowy owl, Miriam the mouse, the unicorns Aram and Halo, Horrik the dragon, the mysterious and grumpy Old Howard and Amalek and Seph, heirs to the Palace of Candara. A quest story, "Candara's Gift" follows the adventures of Seph and Amalek as they flee the Kingdom of Gems in search of the wizard Candara. On the way they are caught in blinding blizzards, assailed by an army of evil ravens and pursued by a dark wizard's spells. Imagination knows no bounds in this exciting tale that will be continued in books 2 and 3.

If you are looking for imagination and adventure, you couldn't do much better than read this book. On the way, you will meet friendship and courage, love and determination and above all a wonderful sense of invention. My personal favourites are the wicked ravens lead by their pompous General and the scavenging Jamar, the stray dog who bites back and wins himself a new master in the service of the dark wizard. Children will love this book but so will adults who can still remember that stories of enchantment are perennially new because they remind us of the drama of living into which we are all born.

My advice? Buy this book as soon as you can!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward P. on 14 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Candara's Gift is such a masterpiece of fantasy writing that it's hard to believe this is Cooper's first book. Like any good children's novel, it contains all the necessary ingredients: beautiful imagery, hidden treasure, an epic battle between good and evil, the essential cast of wizards, a dragon, a king, queen and prince and princess, and a journey into the dark unknown. The story reminded me of the Narnia Chronicles or Lord of the Rings, but it's more exciting, shorter, and more accessible. Cooper has an easy style that flows and reads easily, making it ideal for today's short-attention-spanned youngster, yet with its own complexity and with some clever innovations such as optional riddles and puzzles. The characters are powerfully vivid, and Cooper lets his imagination run wild, weaving in unicorns, the odd mysterious character, and a fantasy land full of colour and mystery. But most striking of all is the goodness this book exudes -- and its good humour. It's a book that will not only inspire and entertain children, but educate them at the same time. In short, this is a made superb start to children's story writing - a book that could well give JK Rowling a run for her money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erin Moon on 22 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
I am writing this review on behalf of Eagle class (the group of 10 and 11 year old pupils I teach).

I read the book myself whilst on holiday in Canada last summer and loved every minute of it. Perhaps it struck a chord as I was travelling through spectacular scenery at the time, but I was swept away by the descriptions in the book and became really engrossed in all of the illustrations and maps.

I recently introduced the book to my year 6 pupils and it has also entranced them. It's no secret that getting children to read can be a bit of a struggle but I've struggled to get the children to stop asking for the next chapter!

Overall it's a fabulous read and encapsulates elements of all of our favourite fanatasy stories with plenty of original twists. We can't wait for the next instalment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lady Helen Doherty on 29 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and crafted novel following the adventures of Prince Seph and Princess Amalek. There is a whole host of interesting characters and animals (good and evil), each so well described you can imagine them, in your mind's eye, as you read. I grabbed every spare minute of day to read on, on the train, sitting at the station, my lunch hour even missed my favourite soaps! - it is very gripping. This book belongs up in the ranks with the creations of J K Rowling and Philip Pullman. Can't wait for the next installment.
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