Castle of Fountains (Douglas A.L. Smith)

(guest review by Mathias)

3 out of 5 Stars

Cut to the Chase
Wyatt’s father has disappeared, leaving only a mysterious note (“One day you will understand). It’s a great hook and a fun beginning. The main character is a teenager from our world who’s somehow transported to this other world, and that’s where the mystery begins. That said, the rest of the book didn’t live up to premise. A lot of things are left unresolved, which is fine if it’s a planned series, but was still fairly frustrating considering where we started. Many of the characters (Wyatt in particular) are easy to relate to and well-developed, there was also a fair bit of action (our heroes getting attacked, etc.) but overall, I felt a little disappointed.

In Greater Detail
Wyatt a lonely thirteen-year-old boy who’s trapped in the middle of nowhere… in a foreign world. Thus, the narrator has the reader’s general expectations about what the world ought to look l ike.

He meets Marrock, who is a wolf (who talks and helps protect him). There’s an element of danger right away: there are storms that are dangerous, eventually trees that are also potentially malicious). Wyatt rides the wolf to safety and they eventually meet Lex, a winged beast who tells Wyatt about a quest he must complete in order to find the Fae Princess (there’s not a lot of explanation about why this is suddenly the quest, just characters, followed by a quest).

There’s also a background threat of war and plenty of solo adventures for Wyatt throughout the book (for example, Wyatt must go to the forest alone, where he then meeds Dryads, and eventually gets some powers).

There’s everything from a dragon a wizard, with a lot of small quests throughout.

This book was slightly disappointing even though there was quite a bit of action. I just felt like none of the larger questions were resolved, and it was a lot of somewhat standard going from one location to another, performing quests without anyone ever stopping to ask why. Perhaps I’m just grumpy or have read too much fantasy recently, but this one was, while entertaining, slightly disappointing after an interesting start.

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