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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
Gliserwood by David Phillips is a young adult fantasy story that feels similar to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Wizard of Oz. It follows a teenage girl named Laurel who has been forced to spend her summers with her mean Aunt Helen. She spends her days at Helen’s stuffy manor and evenings at social gatherings for rich people. Desperate for some adventure, she sneaks into the forest, the one place she is forbidden to go. There she meets lots of magical creatures, discovers her destiny, and has the adventure of a lifetime.
Gliserwood is very well suited for middle-grade readers rather than young adults. That’s because it’s more about a magical world than teenage angst. But, if it finds the right audience, I believe those readers will find this book to be enjoyable. It’s a colorful, well-written fantasy. The main character, Laurel, is interesting and relatable. All of the side characters are fun and original. Author David Phillips has a great imagination and it shows the most in the diverse cast of characters that he’s created. My only regret with Gliserwood was that it’s apparently the beginning of a bigger story and it ends before it really kicks into gear. However, it’s a very good beginning, so I’d recommend it for young readers who enjoy reading about magical worlds filled with magical creatures; some good, some evil, and some just plain weird.