Golden Band of Eddris

Ellen Kindt McKenzie, Author Henry Holt & Company $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4389-1
This somewhat labored allegorical tale traces the physical and psychic journeys of two rural children who happen to be part wizard. Keld and his younger sister, Elylden, were raised on their mother Anna's legends of Nedoman, a mystical land where peace and beauty reign. Thus, when they are sent off to make their way in the world, the pair is ill-prepared for the corruption and despair awaiting them in the village of Adnor, where Keld is supposed to become a potter's apprentice. There the evil witch Sirdde plots their destruction; she has already killed their grandmother and usurped their mother's throne in Nedoman. The children's only weapons against the sorceress are gifts bestowed by Anna: Keld has received the power of reason while Elylden has inherited her mother's clairvoyance. While Anna prepares to regain power in Nedoman, her offspring (aided by Anna's wizard father) succeed in driving Sirdde out of Adnor. McKenzie's (Under the Bridge) fable, thickly shrouded in symbolism, relates a classic battle between good and evil. Given the archaic pretensions of the narrative (""Anna knew that it was not in the Wood of Cris Thon but in this cavern where lay the heart of her fear"") and the enigmatic themes (e.g., the significance of Eddris's [Sirrde's] band of power), only medieval-fantasy buffs are likely to have the patience this novel demands. Ages 9-13. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
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