Young Adult - Fantasy - General
261 Pages
Reviewed on 12/30/2013
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Author Biography

Laraine Anne Barker has always enjoyed telling stories. As a child, when playing with dolls with her younger sisters became boring, she would make up stories featuring the dolls. She also remembers how she and her sisters wrote stories into exercise books and even illustrated them, using crayons to colour them because they found that rubbing on the crayon pictures gave them a shine similar to that of glossy colour pictures in magazines. Laraine submitted her first book (for adults) to a publisher at about the age of 21 and received a very kind rejection letter in which the editor suggested the story could be rewritten for young readers. She regrets she didn't keep the rejection and follow up on the advice. She didn't start writing fantasy for young readers until 1986. After many rewritings the book started then became The Obsidian Quest (published under the Hard Shell imprint of Mundania Press). The Obsidian Quest was a finalist in The Dream Realm Awards 2001 and was followed by Lord of Obsidian and The Third Age of Obsidian, also published under the Hard Shell imprint of Mundania Press. The Mark Willoughby series was started in 1992. Silvranja of the Silver Forest was short-listed (one of three) in 1998 for a major New Zealand prize, The Tom Fitzgibbon Memorial Award.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Mollohan for Readers' Favorite

In the story Albishadewe, “Great White One” by Laraine Anne Barker, you are taken on a journey through the viewpoint of the unicorn Albishadewe. He is quite possibly the last of his kind. After the slaughter of his parents, Albishadewe knows he must hide because the sorcerer wishes to eradicate his kind. He lives in disguise with a pack of wild ponies until his horn starts to grow. When heading for the refuge of the Silver Forest he meets Darya, a young servant who appears to be something more. Albishadewe wonders if she could be the lost blind Goddess of the Silver Forest, Argentsiana. Throughout the book, Albishadewe travels great distances to look for other unicorns. He is forced to make difficult sacrifices and heart-wrenching choices for the sake of Lazaronia.

Albishadewe is an enthralling read. Once I started reading this story, I couldn't stop! I read it straight through from beginning to end. This book has it all - fantasy, intrigue, deceit, mystery, romance, and despair. There are plenty of plot twists and surprises to keep you guessing. I loved that the book was written from the viewpoint of the unicorn. If you are a fan of books such as the Fire Within Series by Chris d'Lacey, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - you will thoroughly enjoy this book! This book would be great for teens, young adults, and anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre.