Word Spelunking

The Enchantment of Abigail Brown (The Nousidian Chronicles, book one) - Mark Waters Actual Rating: 4.5 StarsREAD THE COMPLETE AND ORIGINAL REVIEW AT WORD SPELUNKINGFantasy lovers young and old will be delighted and captivated by the world and story Waters has created in this first book in The Nousidian Chronicles.The Enchantment of Abigail Brown is reminiscent of several beloved and revered stories. It has the smart, original and creative fantasy of the Harry Potter series, the thoughtfulness and insightfulness of the The Chronicles of Narnia series, and the clever whimsical nature of Alice in Wonderland. Yet, it also has its own unique, refreshing qualities and elements.The world and story Waters has created is very intricate, grand and has obviously been plotted and mapped out carefully. The world of Nousidia does not simply exist because Waters tells readers that it exists. It exists because it has been so well developed and given life, history, political and social hierarchies. This is a world that, after reading this book, readers will insist exists.Waters writes with a limitless imagination and urges readers to explore the highest and deepest parts of their own. The story itself moves quickly, but never feels rushed. There are a lot characters, histories, and plotlines introduced in this first volume and for the most part, Waters presents all of these things without overwhelming readers. However, there were a few times when I found myself slightly confused and lost among all the information, backstories, and memories being presented to me. I did have to reread a few passages to make sure I caught everything important, but overall, I think Waters does a great job of presenting readers with a clear and easily followed and understood story.I found myself easily swept away into Abigail’s story and into this complex, enchanting world. With Nousidia, Waters offers readers a bounty of wondrous and fantastical new creatures and magic. Dragons, magical wands, unicorns, talking trees, witches, creatures that are half lion and half bear oh my! The fantasy elements are surprising, captivating, and, at times, even beautifully dark and haunting. This is one of those books, and series, that will simply hold readers spellbound and have them truly invested in the world and characters within it.This may be a fantasy story with delightful creations and imagery, but it’s definitely not all fluff and sweetness. In fact, it’s really quite intense and action packed, with its fair share of realistic violence and war. Waters doesn’t hold anything back, and I for one really loved and appreciated this.The Enchantment of Abigail Brown is very much about Abigail’s journey from unique pre-teen to heroic princess on the verge of womanhood. And this is a journey that happens very quickly. I did really like Abigail, but I must admit that I was a bit intimidated by her character and I think this was mostly because she does mature and evolve as a character so quickly. Yet, her fast evolution and maturation never really felt forced; instead it felt quite natural.There’s a really great and large cast of characters in this book. Waters offers readers a wide variety of characters as well, ranging from the funny; the brave; the endearing; the awesomely nasty and bad, and so much more. I really like that a lot of the characters are surprising and unexpected.The ending sets up the next book nicely and will leave readers eager for more…this reader in particular!Other than the very few confusing or overwhelming passages, I only have one other minor complaint. I read a finished copy of the book and I found quite a few grammatical and spelling mistakes. There were even a few instances where a word was either missing or the wrong tense was used. Now, did this distract me so much that it ruined my ability to enjoy the story as a whole? No, absolutely not! And clearly this is something that’s not going to matter to everybody; it’s really a personal pet peeve I suppose.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: The Enchantment of Abigail Brown is a spectacular and impressive debut from Mark Waters. Readers missing the imagination and fun of the Harry Potter books or readers simply longing for an epic new fantasy will fall in love with this book and series. I highly recommend this book!

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