Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
I’m used to reading what Matador has labelled as juvenile fiction. This is written for teenagers aged fifteen and older and deals with matters that teens have already encountered; death, grief, loss and helplessness and even lack of regard for one’s own life.
Here, Callum has lost his mother and father due to unexplained circumstances ad as expected, his grief is strong; he doesn’t know what he will do with his life alone. One day he’s daydreaming and nearly gets knocked down by a car when someone helps him to safety – he thinks he’s a vagabond, but he’s really someone very special, a Terragainean. For all of Callum’s grief, there is a more pressing matter he needs to take care of when he is told about the world of Terragaineous and he has to help save it before it’s lost forever.
When Callum sees the Terragainean again, he tells him how he has to wipe his memory as he can’t know what goes on in another world, and as a human he would not be able to comprehend what he is told. Instead, as Callum has an open mind, unlike most humans he tells him his secret. Callum finds Terragagainean, Ranlyn to be more interesting than he thought, and for a moment his tale of his people takes him mind off his grief. I liked that no one other than Hannah, Callum’s friend knows about their kind and the world has its rules on outsiders, and for those who like Harry Potter this has its own magic.
From the moment the story begins with Callum getting run over, it escalates gaining a wonderful momentum where he enters an underground world that needs saving, despite his thinking that he has gone insane due to his grief and that the whole event might be a figment of his imagination. Callum, through his encounter with Ranlyn forgot his grief and went from not caring about his own wellbeing to being around all his friends also being in danger if he didn’t help them. The scenario can almost make you wish that someone like Ranlyn could take you to a world that could remove the hurt and pain you would feel after the loss of a loved one. The true reason behind Callum being a part of the Terragaineous situation; an age old villain has the desire to return to his land , but only with the use of a Sanguine Humano Vulneratis spell. For me there felt a touch of C.S. Lewis to the whole thing, and the question is why Terragaineans have so much interest in Callum and his friends.
Whatever it is, A. O. Comerford can create the sort of fantasy story many who have interest in the main fantasy novelists can enjoy.