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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
Prince Dustin and Clara: Secrets of the Black is the second installment in the Prince Dustin and Clara series by Daniel Lee Nicholson and is an enjoyable epic fantasy featuring magic and adventure and lots of excitement with worlds to explore. Prince Dustin and Clara are in a race against time to save the kingdoms in the Black Forest. Now they must make the dreaded journey to a land from which few have ever returned, the deep woods filled with mystery, enchantment, monsters, and legends. The two teenagers hardly suspect that the worst danger is Clara's uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer, a powerful wizard with a very dark secret. Can they survive long enough to save the kingdoms from peril?
The lead characters are young and they are thrust into an adventure that will try them in many ways. The narrative contains hints of fairytales and allusions to some of the most well-known folk stories. It is interesting to follow the journey of the young prince and Clara and how they grow in courage. The author brilliantly explores themes of magic, adventure, the struggle against evil, and destiny. Prince Dustin and Clara: Secrets of the Black Forest has a well-imagined setting, filled with things that young readers will love to discover. The surprises are manifold and moments that are heart-jolting add to the excitement.
I enjoyed the colorful images captured in the writing, which is highly descriptive and crisp. Daniel Lee Nicholson is a good storyteller and this story showcases the author's craft and contains the fun that young readers look for in fantasy. Great plot points, an unsuspecting twist in the story, and a lot of adventure with characters that are strong and memorable.