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  • By Jeff Donahue
    Oct 15, 2009
    "I would love to visit Serendipus!" In Michele Baxter’s “The Chronicles of Serendipus – The Tale of the Secret Keeper” Susan, a blind fifteen year old girl, is thrown into another world known as Serendipus. Serendipus is a peaceful land for the most part, but is tragically being taken over by a force known only as “The Chaos”. With the onset of this Chaos, one of the land’s guardians named Ormdrake has mysteriously disappeared. Susan is brought to this world to help save it and find out what has happened to the missing Guardian. Finding that in this world her sight is restored, Susan sets off on adventure across the lands of Serendipus to the Lilac Mountain, the home of Ormdrake. She is accompanied by a traveling story tell named Shamlack to help her and show her the way. Along the way they meet several perils that they must overcome, as well as frequent “shifts” in the world itself which change not only the landscape but the attitude and demeanor of the people themselves. ... More > Learning much about this other world as she and Shamlack continue their journey, she finds that she learns just as much about herself along the way. Michele Baxter has painted a vivid picture of a beautiful world in Serendipus. I found myself compelled to read more, not so much for the story itself but to see more and more of this imaginary land. The people, lands and creatures that Michele has created were very original and very well described, so that you felt as if you were along on the journey. Her main characters were both likeable and believable, but could both have used a little more background information on them. The adventure that Susan sets off on is a worthy one, though she did at first seem a bit too willing to take on the task after having been tossed magically into this other world. However, I did find that through the story the urgency that should have been evident in this world that was apparently falling apart or being taken over by “The Chaos” was not there. So while it was very interesting to find out what happened on each part of their journey, the overlaying story of the world that was in trouble seemed to fall to the wayside and was taken over by Susan’s personal journey. In conclusion, the story was decent but could use a little more background in a few areas. The land and people were impeccable in Michele’s description of them, and I would be very interested in reading more about this land of Serendipus. It was reminiscent of Narnia to a point, but also reminded me slightly of Fred Saberhagen’s “Book of Swords” series. I would like to have seen more from the Guardian’s as well, but also understood that this was not their story, rather Susan’s story of which they only played a part< Less
  • By Scott Benyacko
    Jul 20, 2006
    "Watch out CS Lewis!" In her novel, The Tale of the Secret Keeper, Michele Baxter transports readers to the world of Serendipus, a Narnia-like realm that is crumbling and in need of a hero. Enter fifteen year-old Susie who, along with her guide Shamlack, must find the strength within herself to finally step into her role as a hero. Baxter creates a readable fantasy novel that does not get heavily bogged down in the description of the landscape. Instead, she chooses wisely to concentrate on the story. In most fantasy novels, the reader is sometimes left thinking that the characters are mere stage decorations, and that the main character here is the setting. Baxter cleverly conveys a fantasy realm while moving the characters to the forefront. Susie is a believable character for whom I found myself rooting the entire book. I can't wait for the second book in this series. Move over C.S. Lewis!
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Product Details

ISBN
9781411694040
Publisher
Michele Baxter
Published
February 6, 2007
Language
English
Pages
283
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.07 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
398478
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