Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

New Fantasy Novel Draws on Creation Myths for a Compelling Adventure

January 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157

From the moment I began reading Tara Casalino's "The Guardians," I was drawn in by the characters, the story, the mystery, and the magic of the fantasy world this first-time author has created. The story begins in an inn where Rafe and his companions await an earl who has hired them to get to the bottom of a mystery. Rafe and his friends, unbeknownst to those around them, are Guardians, humans chosen to have special skills and powers to protect the world. But when the earl enters the inn with a mysterious woman named Ashera, Rafe realizes the game is about to change because Ashera can sense right away that they are more than human, and they equally realize she is more-perhaps part of the Griffin race, believed extinct until now.

The Guardians' origins, and the mysterious origin of Ashera, which even she cannot explain, take the reader back in time to the very beginnings of Casalino's fantasy world as the story of its creation and how dark forces entered the world are told, and within that story lie the seeds for the evil the Guardians are now called upon to fight.

I do not want to give away the story; it's sufficient to say that "The Guardians" has in it everything that a great fantasy story requires, from beings with supernatural powers, to unicorns and dragons, a sinister and powerful dark force, and a well-paced narrative told by the main character Rafe. The first-person voice is engaging, calm, and provides assurance to the reader through a mysterious and at times dangerous quest to defeat the powers of evil. And since Ashera is my favorite character, Rafe's descriptions and interactions with her constantly kept my attention. Here is Casalino's description of Ashera, through Rafe's eyes in the opening chapter following an attack at the inn:

"The four men faced her again, weapons in hand, and as one, charged. Mouth agape, I watched as she simply flowed out of the way, drawing her swords in one smooth, fluid motion by simply pulling her hands back down to her sides. It happened too quickly for me to see how she had done it.

"As she flowed through the shafts of sunlight, she seemed to glow. The sun built an aura around her; the specks of dust, kicked up by her movements, sparkled and glittered. Time slowed and stopped on an image of her, two swords extended, face in shadow, yellow light surrounding her. In that frozen moment, her shadow on the floor looked like she had wings extended in flight, and I was convinced she was meant to join us.

"Time resumed, and what happened next was even faster. She spun and twirled, taking one man out with a kick to the knee, another with a hit to the head, and forcing the last two to freeze with the point of a sword under their chins. They quickly dropped their weapons, at which point the inn guard moved in, collected all the weapons, got a couple of the patrons to grab the men, sent a boy off for the city watch, and took the men outside. It had taken her less than a minute to disarm four men without seriously hurting any of them."

I don't think any male reader can dislike a female kick-ass warrior, and in my opinion, Ashera can put Xena to shame. Furthermore, Casalino does a masterful job of slowly revealing Ashera's mysterious origins to the other characters-and to the reader, so she is not a stereotypical female warrior but a well-rounded character who questions herself and who she is while being devoted to her role of protecting the earl.

At the heart of "The Guardians" is the psychological journey, including how giving into fear can lead to evil, and how overcoming inner fears can lead to victory. Casalino does an excellent job of exploring human weaknesses and those of even more advanced beings. She also draws upon world mythology-Judeo-Christian, Greek, and other cultures-to create universal themes with which all readers can identify.

"The Guardians" filled the void for me when "Legend of the Seeker" was cancelled on T.V. Casalino's fantasy world resonates with questions of loyalty, friendship, creativity, beauty, love-all those aspects of the human condition we struggle with. To read "The Guardians" is to go on a hero quest and return home with a new understanding of how to live in the everyday world. I highly recommend it for an enjoyable, fast-paced adventure. Its visual scenes make me believe it would make a great movie, and I hope Casalino will write several more books, including more novels set in this fantastic world she has created in "The Guardians."

Tyler R. Tichelaar holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Northern Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. His family's long relationship with Upper Michigan and his avid interest in genealogy inspired Dr. Tichelaar to write his Marquette Trilogy: Iron Pioneers, The Queen City, and Superior Heritage. Dr. Tichelaar is also a professional book reviewer and editor. For more information about Tyler R. Tichelaar, his writing, and his author services, visit:

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



The Guardians


Tara Casalino




The Singer


Legend Of The Seeker




Hero Quest

Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 310

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 547

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 296

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 282

In the world of Sagaria - a place not so different than ours, other than virtually all the animals can talk and have roughly equal status in society - there are adventures to be had...

By: Nicole Sorkinl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl April 16, 2012 lViews: 172

Traveling can be a tiring activity, whether you're driving across the state or flying halfway around the world. As Lila L. Pinord demonstrates in her novel In Time, flitting across space and time at

By: Nicole Sorkinl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 29, 2012 lViews: 152

This one is the first. It's the first short story about aliens, the first short story questioning the position of humans in the universe relative to extra-terrestrials, and the first to suggest that

By: Rachel A Denneyl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 25, 2012 lViews: 179

Mortus - Book I of the Faenum Quest the adventure begins is a unique epic fantasy with high and dark fantasy elements. Author Dennis K. Hausker is realistic about the flawed and dark nature of

By: S. M. Vernonl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 20, 2012 lViews: 175

Dark Solus's parents where a witch and a demon. After they were brutally murdered by an evil wizard and the heads of several guilds who worked with him, Dark Solus burns with a desire to seek

By: Douglas Cobbl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 11, 2012 lViews: 183

In the second book of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series, Roland of Gilead reaches out to the world of a heroin addict named Eddie Dean for help. He's dying of starvation and infection. Roland,

By: Don V Standefordl Book Reviews > SciFi Fantasy Horrorl March 10, 2012 lViews: 149

Rakesh Sethi's new book "Cruising Through Turbulence" asks key questions about the pursuit of money, financial security, and what brings happiness. It explores philosophical questions in an

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 21, 2012 lViews: 147

Cheryl Carpinello's new book "The King's Ransom" is the first in her "Young Knights of the Round Table" series. An educator, Carpinello has made the book reader-friendly for teachers and classrooms

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Childrens Booksl June 19, 2012 lViews: 179

"The Prodigal Housekeeper" by Don Michael is one of the most surprising metaphysical novels of recent years. Filled with surprises, quirky characters, and a look into the supernatural world, this

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl June 06, 2012 lViews: 207

Author Linda McLendon has written a moving story of family secrets, two former undercover government workers, lies, and a past that must be revealed. Set in Florida, "Unintended Lies" is filled with

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl May 25, 2012 lViews: 169

Marvin White, successful entrepreneur, shares the secrets of his success in his new book "Seven Pillars to Profit." White tells his personal story and provides numerous anecdotes of his work in

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Businessl April 17, 2012 lViews: 174

Sam Moffie's new novel "To Kill the Duke" offers a rollicking and humorous look at the making of one of Hollywood's most notoriously bad films, "The Conqueror." Moffie brings to life John Wayne,

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl April 14, 2012 lViews: 167