August 13, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012 | Posted by Billy Burgess
Written By Irina Lopatina
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Pub. Date: July 30, 2012
In this fantasy adventure set in the magical land of Areya, a prince, known as some as the White Raven, named Vraigo spends most his days in the forest with the druids and other magical creatures instead of defending his kingdom. Some may think of him as weak, but to him not fighting is his choice to make. Eventually, demons from a parallel world invade his home in which the kingdom's army will be defeated unless Areys uses a magical sword known as Urart against the demons. But there is one little problem, the Urart has been stolen!
To save his kingdom, Vraigo must journey to the 21st Century to retrieve the sword, but there are many dangers that lay before him.
Author Irna Lopatina has created an interesting hero, Vraigo, and many great supporting characters in White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors, book one in the trilogy. Clever dialogue and an intriguing plot are one the many highlights in the fantasy tale. Though the premise of a mystical hero traveling to our time is not exactly original (As I have seen it in other fantasy books and movies, such as the movie Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time), but the author’s imaginative narrative makes up for it. I liked the use of magic throughout the story, and how it is still alive in our time, just not in full form. Overall, White Raven was a well written fantasy that should satisfy most fans of the genre.
About the Author:
Irina Lopatina lives and works in Siberia, Russia, but her homeland has an even more wonderful and exotic name: Altai. It is a unique place where old Altai Mountains rise high up to the sky, centuries-old forests stretch out as in ages past, and mighty Siberian rivers flow along the plains. Altai is one of the few places in the world where huge, densely populated cities coexist with pristine wild places. Moreover, this is an area of the earliest human civilizations, through which the great migration of people from eastern lands to Europe once took place.
While studying at the Altai State University, Irina devoted much attention to the past of her native land. As a student, she went to the archaeological sites of ancient settlements located on the mountain plateau, where it was only possible to arrive on foot. She remembers moments when it was quite easy to imagine how the ancient people had lived, what creatures neighbored them, and what adventures took place in these vast spaces. Irina needed take only a small leap from there to White Raven, his friends, and his enemies who were ready to begin a journey through the Eternal Forest of Areya.
Of course, it would have been much more difficult for her to create her stories if Irina had not been inspired early on by the works of many excellent fantasy and science fiction writers such as J.R. Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin, the Russian authors Nick Perumov and Svyatoslav Loginov, as well as the wonderfully charming Russian fairy tales where a brave prince, his faithful grey wolf and the evil koschei always live. And so it happens that Irina's novels are the stories of a distant, semi-fantastic land which, who knows, may still exist next door to us.
About the Illustrator:
Even as a child, Igor Adasikov knew that he would be an artist.
While studying at an art school, he devoted much of his time practicing classical drawing, seeking to depict the world around him as fully as possible. His works often won awards in Russian art contests, and he continued his education at Moscow Art Institute. After graduating from the Institute, Igor worked as an artist preferring realistic painting, such as portrait and landscape. However, his rich imagination still needed an outlet and manifested itself in full while illustrating the fantasy novel, White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors.
Here, in the surprising fairy-tale world, void of any boundaries, the artist found the nourishment to feed his creativity. Having traveled with the heroes through the whirlwind of adventures, he worked to give readers a visible image of Areya, bringing to life the magical creatures that inhabit the land, and making friends with the heroes of this fascinating story.
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