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The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

March 13, 2014

forbidden libraryThe Forbidden Library by Django Wexler. Pub. Random House, 2014.

Just read the Uncorrected Book Proof of this new fantasy novel for intermediate and older readers and discovered it to be the most unique idea I have read for sometime. You get the impression that the author with the impressive name of Django Wexler, is well versed in fantasy writing.

Young Alice overhears a threatening conversation between her father and someone she discovers to be a yellow and black fairy by the name of Vespidian. Her father immediately announces that he is taking a voyage to South America and the ship is lost at sea. Alice’s house is sold and she is sent to stay with her uncle a quirky character called Geryon.

The house she lives in is run by magical servants that Alice never sees and her only contact is with a strange girl named Emma and a hairy manservant  named Mr Black.

Behind the house is a huge library and Alice just has to look inside. She follows a  talking cat named Ashes and explores the dusty shelves and rooms. Soon she is in trouble. A boy named Isaac shows her a book, which she starts to read then disappears inside the book as a character. After a bloodcurdling escape from death when chased by creatures called swarmers, Alice finds herself back in bed.

Is it a dream? No. It is certainly magic. Alice then meets her uncle Geryon who informs her she is a Reader, with a special power to detect magic in books, and she learns her uncle and the black and yellow fairy both want to find a book with a dragon in it. A dragon that Alice has a special link with. Will she find it before anyone else and what is it’s power?

Interested? Well get it and read it. You will be amazed. Well written, short chapters, complicated yet easy to understand without the myriad of characters that often inhabit fantasy novels.

The book had pages set aside for illustrations that were not shown. I hope they are in colour because there are special scenes in this novel that demand good pictures.

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