Endor the Wizard by John R. Garland
This charming (and charmed) story for young readers draws inspiration from epic bodies of work, like Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, blending the traditional elements of fantasy with the educational and instructive components that is essential to forms of storytelling like folklore and fables. As a young boy, Endor was raised in the magical woodlands of Greysmire, his native country, by a brethren of elves and fairies, learning and perfecting their magic while he matured into a grown man. Confident in his abilities, Endor now roams the land wide and free, where he seeks to improve the lives of his people. But a wizard’s reputation in Greysmire is not a sure thing, and the village folk initially draw back from Endor in fear. Endor is able to win their trust and learns of a growing threat to the north: an evil wizard by the name of Lord Gundermire, who seeks to make war with the south using a combination of dark magic, fell creatures, and foul trickery. Soon, Endor is placed at the head of the warfront, his country’s best hope for survival against the encroaching forces of evil. If he is defeated in battle, it will spell the end of everyone in Greysmire.
Endor the Wizard is full of heart and humor, with fully imagined characters like Endor himself and his two animal companions: TK, a brave and curious owl, and BW, a kind but meek mouse. The story is arranged as a series of vignettes, lasting only a few pages each, which would make this wonderful reading material for parents and their small children. The language itself, though not difficult, is vivid enough also to appeal to older readers, and the world of Greysmire will surely draw you in. If at the end of Endor you still hunger for more, you’re in luck! There remain two additional installments in the series, and we encourage you to check them out. During Endor’s journey, readers will learn several of life’s simple lessons, such as valuing honesty over treachery, remaining loyal to your friends, and, above all else, eschewing darkness to follow in the light.
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