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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
King Havlen of Valgard is dying. Eris, his eldest daughter and heir, blames the youngest of the four siblings, for Cora dared to marry an outsider and bring him to their world. The bedridden king bequeaths a stone of the gods to each of his four children, further incensing Eris. She cannot accept her father’s decision to give any part of her birthright to her siblings, and his desire for them to rule together is just preposterous. Perhaps the greatest injustice is King Havlen’s announcement that the fifth stone is with Cora’s infant daughter, Anika, and outsider husband, who have fled beyond Eris’ wrath. The passing years bring division to the kingdom of Valgard, but Anika’s unexpected return may be exactly the opportunity Eris has been waiting for.
Through the Land of Illusion is the novel adaptation of Gunnar E Garrett Jr.’s award-winning screenplay. These origins are evident in the many descriptions that read like stage directions converted to prose rather than a screenplay rewritten as a novel. The result is a bit unusual, but effectively brings the novel to life in the imagination. The Land of Illusion mentioned in the title is a fascinating place and I adored the Harlequins, a vicious and voracious rabbit-like creature. The plot is not as formulaic as it first appears and Anika must navigate several unexpected twists before the story reaches its exciting conclusion. Through the Land of Illusion is a charming story that draws the reader in despite anomalies in the narrative structure.