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Nymphas' World Paperback – 29 Oct 2009
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Journey beneath the Rowan Tree, to a world that is not our own; enter the realm of Eden, where Nymphas call their home. It's a place of magic and wonder, to delight adults and children alike, gleaming with imagination and flashes of splendid verve.
Children will marvel at this exhilarating adventure, draped in the colourful décor of a stunning new world, indulging their fledgling minds with fascinating creatures of distinction, roaming amidst striking habitats. More discerning readers will also discover studious layers of Greek mythology, intricately laced with Latin influences and underpinned by religious sensibilities, for a mature and rewarding experience.
During the early chapters of this whimsical tale, Rachael Haldane delicately distils the essence of childhood into the written word, perfectly encapsulating the naïve innocence and wide-eyed awe of youth. As the story progresses, she also conveys an impressive depth of description, wonderfully manipulating the tools of her trade with playful flamboyance to conjure vivid visuals that transcend the text on the page, flourishing with creative magic, as if wielding a `Virga' herself.
My personal highlight is the masterful `Glacaltor' display, with dancers soaring into the sky like airborne Ice Capades, illustrating their theatrical performances through fireworks of dazzling sorcery and trails of expelled ice, like skywriting, weaved into extraordinary patterns.
Also worth noting is the thrilling encounter with the `Verli' in the lurid swamp, with the slimy savages slithering beneath the murky mire, gargling malevolently whilst reaching out for the young protagonists with their webbed hands and frog-like legs.
There will be inevitable comparisons with the Harry Potter phenomenon, as J K Rowling inspired generations with her work and I'm certain that Rachael Haldane would name herself amongst them. However, she has evidently evolved her own ideas and has firmly stamped her personality on her first novel, leaving an impression that reaches far beyond a mere imitation of any popular authors.
Finally, for those who choose to embark on this indelible quest, "Beyond the Onyx Mountains" will sow the seeds of anticipation in your imagination, to be ripened into succulent fruition by future adventures in the beguiling "Nymphas' World".