Exploring the Fantasy Realm

Magic in Stories for Children and Young Adults

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
52 Pages
Reviewed on 10/24/2016
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Author Biography

Simon's first novel for middle grade and young adult readers, The Alchemist’s Portrait, was published in 2003, followed by The Sorcerer’s Letterbox in 2004, The Clone Conspiracy in 2005, The Emerald Curse in 2006, The Heretic’s Tomb in 2007, The Doomsday Mask in 2009, The Time Camera in 2011, The Sphere of Septimus in 2014, Future Imperfect in 2016, the Flashback series, comprising Flashback, Twisted Fate, and Parallel Destiny, in 2015, 2016, and 2018, the Shadowzone series, comprising Shadowzone, Into the Web, and Black Dawn, in 2017, and The Stone of the Seer series in 2022. He's also the author of The Children’s Writer’s Guide, The Working Writer’s Guide, The Time Traveler’s Guide, The Social Media Writer’s Guide, a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction Volume One, and has written more than a hundred non-fiction books.

Simon offers a number of services for writers, including editing, manuscript evaluation, coaching, mentoring, and writing workshops, in addition to copywriting services for the business community. He's a writing instructor for adults with the University of Calgary and offers online workshops for both children and adults. He also offers a wide variety of presentations, workshops, and author in residence programs for schools and libraries, as well as virtual author visits.

Simon is a regular presenter at conferences and festivals, and served as the Writer-in-Residence with the Canadian Authors Association.

Full details can be found on his website at www.simon-rose.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite

Exploring the Fantasy Realm: Magic in Stories for Children and Young Adults is small in size, but packs in a lot of information about writing in the fantasy genre. Included in the book are examples from fantasy books, including fairy tales, children’s stories, and YA novels. Author Simon Rose highlights topics such as common themes in fantasy, some tools of the trade in the fantasy novel, the role of the child or hero, and the unique universes created by fantasy novelists. The reader will also find information on the antagonist or evil characters in fantasy novels, the role of the wizard or witch, and will learn about specific languages used in the genre to make a new and different world come to life in readers’ minds. Many favorite books are discussed and used as examples and reference, including Harry Potter.

There were quite a few subjects discussed in Exploring the Fantasy Realm, and while I enjoyed all of the explored elements, a few stood out as interesting. In particular, I enjoyed the topic Tools of the Trade, as author Simon Rose pointed out elements such as magic wands, time travel devices (magic versus machine), and spell books. Also of note was the topic of symbolism and themes, with a focus on why these are important for the reader and writer in fantasy genres. This is not a writing guide, but more of an overview of the elements of fantasy writing. I would recommend it to those interested in learning more about writing in the fantasy genre, however, as it does provide information that is useful in the writing process.