The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick
The War of Six Crowns Book One
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Full Length (310 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen
Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land…
When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith’s realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine’s crown prince.
But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.
Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.
Callan Blair’s parents died when she was eleven and since then, she has been shunted from one foster home to another, because of her dangerous secret. Her latest foster family ships her off to a boarding school in Cumbria, where her foster-brother, James, does his best to get her expelled. Before she knows it, she is forced through a doorway which lands her in another world, the magical continent of Tardith, where she finds her fellow classmates, Gawain and Darrion. They are soldiers in service to the aging king of Nordaine, one of the kingdoms in Tardith.
M. Gerrick has written a fast-paced action story with plenty of intrigue and suspense. Callan discovers a bit about her heritage and she wants to know more. Darrion doesn’t trust her, but Gawain has fallen for her. And meanwhile, there is her dangerous secret which forces Callan to keep her distance from anyone she might care about.
The characters in this novel are fully developed and I really liked Callan. She is in a strange world with a lot of unanswered questions, but she still holds her own and even helps the very people who distrust her. Most of the novel takes place in Tardith, and I couldn’t help wondering whether or not she would ever get back to school, but I was definitely pulled into all the intrigue surrounding the aging king and his possible heirs. This novel is very hard to put down and the pages turn themselves.
Whenever an author creates another world, the author must be sure to describe it in enough detail so that the reader is drawn into it, and Gerrick truly succeeds with this. The world of Tardith and the realm of Nordaine seem just as real as the Cumbrian countryside and the boarding school.
This is the first novel in a series, and I cannot wait for the next as this one ends with a lot to be discovered. Readers of fantasy are sure to enjoy following Callan on her quest to learn about her parents and to discover how to handle her secret.