- 匿名 さんI highly recommend BEYOND THE CLOUDS to all fantasy lovers – children, adolescents, and adults who are still children at heart.There are many fabulous stories about the opposing forces of light and darkness, good and evil, and it would seem many works have been written on this topic. It's not always easy to say something new -- even for recognized masters in the genre of children and adolescent fantasy; however, Svetlana Semyonova has accomplished it. Her “BEYOND THE CLOUDS: Legend of Veldogenerius' Valley", the first novel in the BEYOND THE CLOUDS series, surprises with unrestrained flights of fancy; encompassing the sincere atmosphere of a fairy tale; which, in my opinion, is unique in its effort for young readers. It reflects the best parts of the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. The novel unfolds in several worlds simultaneously in the present day -- amidst the colorful scenery of mythical cities, each reflecting a dark, mirrored counterpart -- where inhabitants are endowed with magical gifts. Nine-year-old Angel; an inquisitive visionary; arrives with his father in Spain to attend an astronomical symposium. At a local hotel he unexpectedly meets a loquacious white rat named Henry. With this surprising meeting the incredible adventures of the boy begin. According to the laws of the genre, Angel is not an ordinary child. Upon his still immature shoulders a difficult and dangerous mission is laid -- to save the magical world from an impending catastrophe. BEYOND THE CLOUDS is an awe-inspiring land drifting in the sky. From time before time the inhabitants of this fairy-tale country have been engaged in a special craft: growing droplets of rain and snowflakes. On their cloudy ships they send valuable cargo to Earth, thereby helping to make the water cycle flow within nature. The forces of evil in BEYOND THE CLOUDS are not asleep -- and are powerful and insidious. The dark opening pages are inhabited by the magician Amarus; the living result of a failed magic experiment of another wizard who was formerly imprisoned in the dark reflected world -- who escaped his dungeon and became a threat to the inhabitants of BEYOND THE CLOUDS. Angel and his friends seek to destroy the evil magician. Adventures lead the protagonist and his comrades to the most unexpected places; for example, the computer game Surama; which is not just a game. The characters are diverse and colorful. The guardians of the magical gifts: Amarius, Logofet, Penat and Shedu, are resilient creatures, similar to birds and dragons at the same time. The boy, Nimbus, Angel's peer and a future king; the powerful Magician, Niras, who owns all kinds of heavenly magic; Angel’s friend and avid gamer, Tim; and many others. It is fascinating to observe the characters, who all evoke real emotions: sometimes a smile -- and sometimes sympathy or empathy. The novel is a carefully crafted mythology. Ancient legends and mysterious prophecies of a fantastic land come to life before the readers eyes; real and authentic.
The illustrations deserve mention. Not every modern children's book is found with color illustrations (not to mention novels for adults) but illustrations abound in BEYOND THE CLOUDS. These illustrations exist in both the electronic and paper versions of the text. I highly recommend BEYOND THE CLOUDS to all fantasy lovers – children, adolescents, and adults who are still children at heart.
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