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Bewildering Stories

Aidan Lucid, The Zargothian Tales:
Return of the Son of Hamorin

reviewed by Bill Bowler

The Zargothian Tales
Author: Aidan Lucid
Illustrator: Leonardo Borazio
Publisher: WordTechs Press 2010
Length: 238 pp.
Aidan Lucid’s The Zargothian Tales: Return of the Son of Hamorin is a fantasy epic aimed at a young adult readership. The ideal reader would be a teenage boy around the age of fifteen, the age of Henry Simmons, the hero of Lucid’s epic adventure.

By means of magic, Henry finds himself transported from modern-day America to an alternate Earth, the land of Zargothia. There he comes to play the pivotal role in a war of survival between humans, and the treacherous and predatory Sadarkians.

In Zargothia, Henry finds companions who have also been transported through time and space: two World War II airmen from Earth’s past, who wandered into the Bermuda Triangle; and a neighbor’s cat, who gains the power of speech in the process, with humorous consequences.

The trappings of Zargothia are medieval: knights, castles, kings, queens, and wizards. The warfare is medieval as well, with swordsmen, archers, knights, and assaults with catapults and trebuchets.

Henry uses a magic coin and his sense of honor to guide and protect him through his perilous adventures. The course of events takes him beyond even this alternate Earth, to other spheres where the ancient gods of Zargothia dwell.

As Henry faces the challenges of this undiscovered land, the events of an ancient prophesy are fulfilled. In the end, Henry’s true origin and identity are revealed, and with his own life at stake, he engages in a final battle, one-on-one, to defeat his Sadarkian nemesis, Zakarius, the king of the Sadarkians.

The story is narrated in a straightforward, uncomplicated, one could say, lucid narrative that suits the story and should engage the interest of any like-minded young teenage boys who have ever dreamt or daydreamed of possessing magical powers, meeting the king and queen, of fighting with swords, defending castle and country, and soaring over the countryside on the backs of fantastic creatures such as dracorns (Zargothian flying steeds that are half-dragon, half-unicorn).

The characters are vivid. The plot twists and reversals keep the action moving forward and engage the reader. The tone and mood are up-beat. The medieval fantasy setting is depicted in detail. A young reader should find much of interest, and many hours of pleasure and entertainment in reading Lucid’s novel.

NB: WordTechs Press, the publisher of The Zargothian Tales, donates a portion of the royalties to an Irish charity called “Friends of ABLE,” an organization that helps people with disabilities gain employment.

Copyright © 2011 by Bill Bowler

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