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30 Dec 2009

The Alfar's Gift

The Alfar's Gift written by Diane Wright and published through Publish America is a fantasy adventure.

Diane Wright lives in Idaho, she is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. The Alfar's Gift is her first published work. A series of poems by Diane Wright is soon to be published. Currently Mrs Wright is working on the sequal to The Alfar's Gift.

The cover of The Alfar's Gift depicts a vast green forest with the ghostly face of a young fair-haired boy against the bark of the nearest tree. The cover does do the story justice for much time is spent in the wilderness however the ghostly figure of the boy Danny would suggest this is a paranormal story not a fantasy. The title is written in white inside a black box framed with a white boarder central and bold bringing more attention to it rather than the cover itself. The authors name is written in black at the bottom.
The back cover is green with white writing with an image of the author Diane Wright, an eight line biography and one third page synopsis. The synopsis describes exactly what happens in the story and what the reader is likely to expect.

When Danny a 14 year old boy arrives at his favourite place he will find his beliefs challenged and his world changed forever. Pulled through to another dimension by an Alfar, Danny must find courage within himself, and friendship with his new companions a mountain man and a beautiful woman, if he is to save the fairies and in turn his own world from the armies of the evil gargantua, Ahrim.

Danny is a boy with alot of growing up to do and we are constantly reminded of this throughout the story right to the last chapter when finally the boy becomes a man in his realisation of the world around him and how he is perscieved by others.
The Alfar's Gift shows a great use of language however at times the character Red uses one or two words which are unclear as to their interpretation.
There is a reasonable use of character species from fairies to humans, to witches, elves and loyal horses. One species of character used appears pulled from the pages of Tolkiens Lord of The Rings.
The reader is not clear on an actual time setting for the story and the few mentions characters make about such things like wanting to take a shower, seem out of place for a story lacking to reveal in which era the story exists.
There is also a moment toward the end of the story which suggests the story is heading in one direction which the reader willingly follows only to find themselves moved two or three more times in another direction confusing them slightly as to what is going on, perhaps which a little more depth this could be corrected.

An adventurer at heart and a wise woman, Diane Wright's presence in this story becomes apparant to those who can say they know her in some capacity. I mean this in a good way, that it shows the passion and knowledge of the author between them and their masterpiece, it is something not often seen especially seen in self published works. I believe that Mrs Wright has written this book as she would tell a story to one of her own family members in a way which teaches them about life and her beliefs.

Apart from a few minor setbacks overall The Alfar's Gift is a well written story and a great book for anyone aged 10 years plus to read, I say this as there are one or two scenes I believe are unsuitable for younger children and a number of words which they would find difficult to understand.
Considering all of the above I still give Diane Wright and The Alfar's Gift 4 out of 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed the story and how it was written and I believe that perhaps with another edit this story could reach 4.5 if not 5 stars. This is one of those stories that if I had children I would like them to read for what they can gain from it.

By R.N. Hadley