Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Review: Legends of the Black Forest by Daniel Lee Nicholson

After reviewing the first two books in today's series...and enjoying both of them, I was excited to get my hands on this third and last book. The series branches off from The Nutcracker and is a lovely fantasy read for middle graders. There is a nod at ballet, but this one also takes on a whole life of its own. 

But before I say to much, let's take a peek!

Prince Dustin and Clara, Book 3
by Daniel Lee Nicholson
Fossil Mountain Publishing, LLC
Middle Grade Fantasy
ages 10 to 14


They only have one chance! Dustin and Clara have until the full moon rises If they fail, the lands Deep in the Balck Forest will be overtaken by the Dark Forces. Wizard Herr Drosselmeyer was abel to contain the wicked and ghastly creatures for a century. However, his spell has now been broken, and the dreadful monsters have been released 
The Snow Queen soon realizes that their dark magic is even more powerful than Drosselmeyer's. The noble queen is out of options to defat the Dark Forces. 13-year-old Clara, Prince Dustin, and Princess Sugar Plum, a tree fairy, will have to battle the sinister and haunting power before they can save the kingdoms in teh forest. However, it might already be too late.
Prince Dustin and Clara...a classic tale of fantasy and adventure!

Where to find it and more information at...   Fossil Mountain Publishing


Note: This is the third in the series. I have read the other two books and do recommend reading this as a series, since each book builds on the events and characters. While each book does have its own ending (there aren't any cliff-hangers), the background information is important for each read.

Clara is off to summer camp in the Black Forest. Unfortunately, her brother, who has a knack for trouble, comes with her, but this worry soon disappears as her first days at camp are interrupted by a huge storm. The unnatural clouds make it clear that more is at stake than the weather, and she runs out to try to stop it from hurting her brother and friends. Even with her magic, she's no match for the evil forces and barely escapes thanks tot he help of King Dustin. But this is only the beginning because dark forces want to retake the forest, and nobody, not even the Snow Queen, can stop them.

This is such a fun series for the middle grade audience, and while it does somewhat remind of the Nutcracker, this series goes much beyond that. The author keeps the writing quick-paced and engaging. There are enough descriptions to build the world, but these are kept to a minimum as the characters and the plot drive this one forward. In this book, there is a wonderful cast of creatures, which really let the imagination take flight. Of course, the reader knows more than a few from the other books, but this one brings in a whole new level of evil and darkness for Clara and, now, King Dustin to fight. It's simply fun fantasy.

The first chapters let Clara's normal life take hold as she, her brother, and their friends live camp life. When the magical side breaks through, it's easy to understand Clara as she heads out to try to stop it alone. She's easy to root for and fun to cheer for. The other characters each have their own problems and try to deal with everything as best they can, but are always they for Clara. In other words, friendship and working together are strong messages as well.

I'm a fan of the fairy tale feeling in this series. It allows dreams to take flight and the reader to dive into a fantasy world, which comes to life. Danger and tension remain high while still keeping a level appropriate for the age group. And yet, it's even grabbing to me as an adult, since it keeps the heart of childhood fantasy.

And here he is...

Daniel Lee Nicholson was born and raised in the Midwest. He has been a performer and ambassador of the performing and visual arts ever since his first performance as a a soldier in The Nutcracker in Chicago Nicholson performed in various productions of the Nutcracker ballet spanning ten years. He currently resides with his wife in the Los Angeles area and works in the Media and Entertainment industry.

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

Sounds like an exciting fantasy series, and I love the message of friendship and working together being at the heart of it.