Review: The Xidoran Prophecy by Elaine Bassett

xidoranCharles Brookfield was just an ordinary boy with a life in the country that left him wanting for nothing. That is, until his fifteenth birthday. With a gift of a set of coins, his family leaves Charles heir to an unbelievable secret and a whole new world, one so dangerous that Caroline – the only girl he ever felt right about – must never be exposed, no matter how much the world of the Sojourners may intrude upon their lives. What follows is an epic tale of magic and intrigue for the best summer Charles has ever had.

Xidoran is certainly remarkable for its fresh concept and the intricate, deep world that the author has created for it. You can tell that every part of the book has been pondered over and over for anecdotes and ideas that pour out at every opportunity. The setting bursts from the page at every turn and becomes an immersive read.

There are many characters that, while not always given much personality to speak of, still manage to be inspiring and positive in their own way. An optimism pervades through the entire story that at the worst of times can feel slightly bland but at the best of times makes for a warm and hopeful view of the world. The way the book is set up feels much like a popular young adult novel, with quite family friendly content focusing on escapism and magic.

The main characters certainly feel purposefully less developed to allow a reader to insert themselves. This may be a bit of a problem as Charles and his friends feel much less like they could be anyone and very much more as a very special chosen few, Charles and Caroline especially as they and their families come from quite fortunate, if quaint backgrounds. Also worth noting is that, at 114 chapters, it may not appeal to a younger reader without real dedication to a longer text.

It’s clear that Xidoran Prophecy is a product of a long labor of love, teeming with fresh and interesting ideas that fill every page in a literal sense. I honestly feel that much of the slower pacing in the book is due to a sense it was too long without being kept to the basic ideas, but what is considered a basic idea seems to encapsulate a lot, especially early on. The result is a read that becomes exhausting after one chapter, not out of lack of interest but from trying to unravel every bulky, often over-long sentence that throws more information, description and most of all exposition that can reasonably be taken in.

Each detail is thoughtfully fleshed out, of course, and the sense of stumbling into a complete other world is perhaps a little too faithfully given to the reader because of it. Given the patience, a verbatim wonderful story can be found here, one that I could in general firmly believe would appeal to anyone with an interest in the fantastic. If you have your eye on a story you want to last, this is it.

The Xidoran Prophecy is the first part of the Xidoran Prophecy series.

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