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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Fairalon is a fantasy novel for children and preteens written and illustrated by T.J. Roberts. Iris is tired of being picked on in school for being different. She doesn't want to be like the rest of the kids; she simply wants them to leave her alone. Ever since her mom died when she was six, Iris finds it necessary to do things, like tapping her legs and repeating actions three times to make sure she does it right. She still doesn't know, you see, if she had done something wrong to make her mother die. Now, her grandmother has died as well, making it even harder for the eleven-year-old to cope. At the funeral, the hair on her arms stood straight up, as it did whenever something strange was going to happen, and it almost seemed as though, at one point, her grandmother had raised her head and spoken to her. Most people dismiss Iris as being mental because she's on medication, but they're just not seeing what she sees. Gram left her house to Iris in her will, on condition that she live there. She also left five wooden boxes in her bedroom which is now Iris's, and there was also a note attached.
T.J. Roberts' fantasy novel for children and preteens, Fairalon, is an original and exciting epic fantasy. Roberts' 3-D illustrations are superb, and they work perfectly with the story to bring the characters and the marvelous world of Fairalon to life. Iris is a complex and engaging character whose comfort with herself, courage and curiosity are perfect attributes for a questing hero, and she takes on that role with aplomb. I enjoyed watching her spar with the Koan and negotiate with the goblins as she sought a way to help Charles escape their clutches. Fairalon is well written and the plot is full of action, close calls, and the friendship of stalwart companions. It's a lot of fun, and it's highly recommended.