Friday 20 January 2012

Guardian of the Sky Realms

Guardian of the Sky Realms by Gerry Huntman (IFWG Publishing Group)
PB RRP US$14.99 (published in US; available online)
ISBN 9780984329885
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The story begins in Sydney. The focus is on the unpopular teenager Maree who lives with her mother, her father having left them long ago. She likes Jason who is multi-talented, musical and gorgeous. For some time now, Maree has been mesmerised by angels and angel images, particularly one that hangs in a gallery near The Rocks. Her plan is to steal it, and own it to admire.

But a young man is there, also admiring Wings In Despair. He tells her the story of the painting; about Alanar, Guardian of the Northern Sky Realm, and his share-heart Mirriam. They were the Divine, Protectors and fighters of the daemons of the Fire Lands. But Mirriam was killed in conflict. Alanar has awaited her Rebirth to take up the battle again. Before Maree realizes it, she falls into the painting and flies away with the stranger, who is himself, the Alanar of the painting’s story who has come to bring his Mirriam home.

The timid Maree embarks on a fantastic journey in another World; one where the flow of time is different to her own. It is a journey of disbelief, discovery, knowledge and Rebirth. She becomes Mirriam, an exciting and courageous girl, continually evolving, strengthening in every sense, and nothing like the person she was before.

The story goes back and forth, from then and now, the then being Mirriam/Maree’s Human World in Sydney, and the now, her new life in the Sky Realm. In alternating chapters, we see the happenings in her Human World. Her mother believing she is dead is battling with grief and fear.

We see what is happening to Jason. Back in the Human World, his parents are attacked and the shroud of mystery surrounding his identity begins to fall away. There are choices both young people must make. Maree must find a way back to Sydney to assure her mother of her existence without revealing her new life.

Their travels take them through Paris on Christmas night, where the gargoyle Darius becomes their ally in unexpected collisions with daemons, then through the Himalayas and the US, through portals, caverns, Shadowlands, and dangerous entrances and exits; amidst the warring of good and evil up to the last explosive revelation.

The book is a US production using American English (IFWG are thinking of producing an Australian edition in the next year or so). However, Barnes and Noble (online) are asking US$13.50 at the moment - plus postage and handling.

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