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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Want to take the train?” What a grand idea! Did you know the fairy train is actually a bunch of snails? And the students who live in the fairy city have to take the train to school every day. Even in the summer. Well, actually, this is the first summer they’ve had to go to summer school, but they still have to ride the train. Or should I say snails? Diana and her fairy friends are not quite sure why they have to go to summer school, but they’ve been told there’s going to be a mage, a wizard Castle Majestic, teaching them all about magic and spells. It’s a first for the fairy school, but apparently things were changing in the world around them, evil was adrift, threatening their very existence. And Diana was about to face an unfathomable adventure to many different realms, seeing all kinds of creatures.
Trista Shaye’s fantasy novel, Diana Alderoot and the Gilded Mage, has everything a young fantasy reader looks for in a grand adventure: good, evil, fairies and wizards and magic. The plot unfolds at a steady pace, the author providing a thorough introduction to the characters and the setting before starting the main character off on her adventure. The evil force unveils itself slowly. It is a deep magic, old and complicated. It causes great concern amongst the council, and this is only the beginning. Trista Shaye has a way with words, a knack of pulling the reader into the story, making the reader feel part of the story. The events unravel with page-turning persistence and the reader doesn’t want to put the book down until the climax is achieved and the resolution reached. Will Diana be successful on her quest? Will evil be controlled and eliminated, making the fairies safe? With the power and imagination of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Diana Alderoot and the Gilded Mage is an exciting adventure for readers young and old.