Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Review: 'The Summoned King' by Dave Neuendorf

Indiana author Dave Neuendorf marks his literary debut with a young adult fantasy THE SUMMONED KING – a novel he calls Book 1 of THE KALYMBRIAN CHRONICLES. Dave is a Java software development consultant – a source of experience that adds to this tale of time shifting and new dreams.

We see a bit of Dave in his main character Jim who states early on, ‘My greatest obsession, of course, was reading every fantasy novel I could get my hands on. I loved to compare the various magic systems cooked up by the authors, from the lame to the masterful. Right now, though, I had nothing new in my collection, contributing to my boredom.’ And a cure for Jim’s boredom is what this fast reading book is all about.

Dave's synopsis presents the story outline well: ‘Indiana high school senior James Madison Young might best be described as a Renaissance man: intelligent, of good character, well educated, and full of passionate interests in everything from Krav Maga to robotics. One evening he falls asleep while studying at the library. He wakes to find himself in another world, filled with magic, danger, and romance. He has been summoned by court wizard Maynard to be the king of Kalymbria. Forced into marriage with the beautiful and magically powerful yet untrained Julia Roper for his queen, he must restore the lapsed Constitution in the face of opposition from a hostile Council of Advisors, and defend his new country from the evil machinations of the wizard Ruinga and her allied kingdom of Venicka. Rediscovering the lost art of enchantment may provide him with a powerful edge in his quest, if he can survive the assassins and conspiracies arrayed against him.’

At times a bit lugubrious but for the most part the book flows well and the story is especially appealing for young adults. It will be interesting to see if the series continues. Grady Harp, July 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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