Guardian of the Gauntlet by Lenita Sheridan
Opening with a verse from Matthew 25, Lenita Sheridan’s Young Adult fantasy Guardian of the Gauntlet highlights the importance of personal convictions guided by faith. At the center of the narrative is the charming Prince Denir of Thalon, and the magical powers afforded to him through a gauntlet glove. While roaming the kingdom of Harroway, Denir comes across two admiring sisters, but of course, only one will prove to the ideal match. Once Denir recklessly and willingly makes one of the girls disappear (at her request), the mischievous Mecandel and witchy Bogwina attempt to swipe the coveted gauntlet. However, one can only utilize the powerful glove through a perfect fit. When a teenage boy named Isryk jumps into the picture, all of the characters must come to grips with reality and let go of their secret fantasies…at least a little bit.
The characters of Guardian of the Gauntlet are well rounded for the most part, and author Sheridan infuses bits of romantic dialogue with a touch of comedy. It’s a fun read, so much so that one may desire a more complete description of the magical settings themselves. The narrative’s emphasis falls primarily on the inner desires of young Camari, while an important character like Denir appears more like an idea than a fully realized Prince. Early on, he makes a girl disappear but doesn’t have the intelligence to return her to her natural form before rushing off to battle. Naturally, the two younger girls continue to swoon over him. The story takes a sharp turn for the better, however, once Camari teams up with a bumbling guide, and the inherent message of appreciation comes shining through.
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