Isobel Crnkovic and Josephine Crnkovic The Scales of Time (The Spellcaster Chronicles #1) Green Olive Press, 2014 209pp $19.95 pbk ISBN 9780987321725 SCIS 1693013
Lian Mage has run from slavery, and has been hiding in the caves above Ablit. Natalia (Tali) Overseer lives in Ablit with her little brother Marty, hiding their magical skills from those who would like magicians eradicated. When Lian and Tali meet, they realise that they have the same purpose: to make Ayurom again a land where magicians are welcomed and magic not feared. Their journey together to find help, and their quest for dragon scales, is full of adventure. The last showdown is with the Black Magician, Raconem, who is shot with an arrow from the bow called the Heart of Ayurom, Lian’s last link to his lost family.
This novel is the work of two teenage sisters, and has its foundation in a writing competition for young people. It is told through the alternating chapters of 16 year old Lian and 15 year old Tali. The plot is really a series of linear events that occur along the journey. Unfortunately, the characters remain linear as well, with no real change in them, and no spark between them, despite what they have encountered. The bad guys remain that way while the good guys save the day, and there are many convenient moments that solve plot problems. The formatting, grammatical and typographical errors also make for an uncomfortable read. There are good ideas in the story that might have been better with more work done on the elementals of fiction writing.
reviewed by Pam Harvey