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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Battle Maid is a work of fantasy fiction by Claudia Callander. Karma, at fifteen, is invisible, metaphorically speaking. At least, most of the time. When her peers get it in their heads to torment her, the bullying can be intense. At least Karma has her otherworldly experiences, her nightly dreams, that make her feel like she’s somebody other than the victim she is when she’s awake in her small Adirondack town. But the dreams are becoming more intense, more violent, and more cryptic and they’re starting to invade her reality to the point that she wonders what is real and what is imaginary. What’s more, she discovers that she’s tied to this imaginary world more deeply than she ever thought possible. And she really is someone, not an invisible victim of bullying and abuse.
Claudia Callander's young adult novel, The Battle Maid: The Wild Boy Series, is an exciting, otherworldly adventure full of fantastical creatures, magic, dragons, compelling battles between good and evil and so much more. The author takes the main character, Karma, and places her in two worlds: the ‘real’ world where she is a victim of relentless bullying, and her imaginary world full of adventure and a profound sense of purpose and belonging. Young readers will certainly relate to the emotions and conflicts Karma faces in both worlds and they’ll be cheering her on as she confronts one battle after another in both worlds. The narrative is engaging and really sets the stage for all the action and the dialogue, though sparse, is realistic and drives the plot forward. This is a powerful read that will attract readers of all ages who enjoy a good fantasy adventure.