cover image Kingdoms of Light

Kingdoms of Light

Alan Dean Foster. Mysterious Press, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52667-8

Bestselling veteran Foster, author of more than 80 genre titles, including the Spellsinger and Journeys of the Catechist series, brings readers another action-packed fantasy, one that might have come straight from the vaults of Disney. The peaceful kingdom of Gowdlands is invaded by the goblin Totumakk Horde, led by the evil Khaxan Mundurucu, a company of warlocks who handily kill the mightiest wizard, Susnam Evyndd, and banish all the land's colors. Unbeknownst to them, the wise mage has one last spell to cast. Susnam's pets--three cats, a scruffy terrier, a songbird and a boa--are transformed into human shape and sent on a quest to find the source of the Pure Light of coloration and restore gray, gloomy Gowdlands to normal. To accomplish the task, the former animals must come to terms with their new forms and each other, while battling goblin magic and those who would stand in their way. Their journey takes them through a magical rainbow and across a spectrum of kingdoms, each ruled by a different color, until at last they reach the source of Pure Light. Foster's brand of storytelling, lighthearted even at the darkest moments, doesn't leave much room for doubt about how it's all going to turn out. Fans of swift-moving plots and imaginative settings will overlook the thin characters and enjoy this pleasant fantasy tale. (Feb. 20)