Kara by Scott J. Kramer
Publisher: Prizm Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Middle Grade
Length: Full Length (238 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Review by: Stargazer
It seems everyone is chasing twelve-year-old Kara. She is running not only from her powerful king and an assassin elf, but also from something horribly evil. She doesn’t know why they all want her or even if they want her for the same reason. She only knows she needs to hide somewhere safe. When King La’ard attacks her home and captures her father, Kara escapes to the Territories where humans are unknown and elves, orcs and dwarves roam the land. She finds comfort and safety with a dwarc named Hambone, Dante a werefox, and Grace the sprite. To get back to the human land of Faldoa and rescue her father, she enlists the help of her new friends and a reluctant wizard. But can she figure out the secret that will save her and those she loves before her enemies catch her?
Imagine a world where humans, mystical creatures and wizards all live; now imagine that the human world is isolated from the rest of the world by a large wall and a deadly fast river. Kara is a young girl who returns to her home to find her house in flames and her father in the custody of the Witch Guard. Kara’s only option is to flee; what she does not know is that when she is knocked unconscious after she falls into the river she crosses from the human world into the land of the Territories.
The Territories are where magic, mystical creatures and wizards live apart from human interaction. Kara works to understand this strange new land that she has heard of only in stories a child. Since magic is forbidden in the part of the world that Kara lives, she is astounded at what can be done.
The author has a talent for complex storytelling. The overall plot seems simple at first, yet becomes deeper as betrayal, treachery and greed enter the scene. The characters have complex pasts and more than once I found myself understanding and even agreeing with why even King La’ard would stop at nothing to capture Kara and make his world stable again.
Each character is thoughtfully crafted and has a strong place in the story, from Hambone- Kara’s initial contact in the Territories to Katrena the dark elf who takes an interest to Kara trespassing into the Territories for her own twisted goals. The character interactions are strong and dialogue is clear and concise. Action scenes that occur are detailed and dramatic. Even the plot twists hold strong, I found myself surprised more than once at choices made and how they would eventually turn out for the characters.
The ending of the story leaves the reader to understand that the author has more planned in the world of the Territories. My response is: bring it on! This was a great read and an awesome adventure into a deep and complex world!