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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
How can a spoiled French princess and a young peasant save a world inhabited by beings of myth and legend? That is the basis of Shield of the Palidine by Barbara T. Cerny. Beginning in France in the early 1600s, the tale brings seven-year-old Pierre into possession of an unusual necklace that he and his friend Guy use as the basis of all their childhood adventures. When financial hardship causes Pierre to try to sell the necklace, he and Guy meet the chubby self-serving Princess Elise, niece to the King of France. As Pierre clasps the necklace around Elise’s neck, they are both transported to a magical land – the home of creatures of Greek myth and other ancient legends that have sought refuge away from the hatred of man. Unable to stand up to the threat of destruction at the hands of the evil Asmodai as individual races, these inhabitants of the land of Amorgos look to Elise and Pierre as the fulfillment of the prophecies that tell of The Redeemer and her Consort who will come to lead them to victory. In spite of lengthy training, powerful mentors, and the possession of magic armor and weapons, will two humans live through a real life adventure and be able to defeat evil that has grown for over 2,000 years? Will all the different races agree to follow them?
Tremendous action, historical references and fantastic imagination combine in Shield of the Palidine by Barbara T. Cerny to create an excellent story of hope, dedication, loss and love. An incredible number of well-developed characters, both historical and mythical, take part in several quests to find the tools mentioned by the prophecies to aid in the final battle. Elise and Pierre try to bring the quarrelsome races together in order to lead them into an epic battle that will determine the fate of Amorgos. This story is full of emotion and clearly follows the growth in maturity of the young French princess and the peasant she thinks is beneath her. It is an outstanding book for fantasy readers of all ages.