I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Friday, June 02, 2006


BookSurge, LLC
Genre: Fiction/Low Fantasy Folklore
Rating: Very Good
ISBN: 1419606085, $14.99, 330 pp, 2005

From the colorful front cover–showing an angry king, his princess daughter and the fisher boy–one might think to classify this story as a fantasy in an imaginary world. However, classic fantasy deals with the impossible. Fantasy is the world of magic, the supernatural, of inexplicable occurrences that don’t have a foundation in the reality of the world as we know it. It is the realm of faeries, dragons, unicorns and sorcerers. Low fantasy is set in the world as we know it. . . governed by nature’s laws; whereas high fantasy is set in imaginary worlds governed by laws set by supernatural beings.

So, I have classified this story as "low fantasy folklore" because it is a story about an imaginary place and its people. In this isolated mountain valley the Chelks and Zaprians believe they are the only people on earth, that the earth extends to the edge of the ocean and to the tops of the distant mountains. They believe in spirits and witches such as the Ogres of the Cold and the Avenging Witch.

Quoting from the back cover:

"On one side of the Forbidden River lies the land of Chelekai, where Togai is the son of the head fisher. On the other side is the Kingdom of Zaphyr and the City of Light, the site of the yearly Festival. Zaphyr’s ruler, King Praidar, is the father of the princess Prandina. In Chelekai and Zaphyr, lives are governed by rules and customs based on ancient legends and superstitions; some separate, some intertwining. And in a place where there is little, the Zaprians have the most--and they make the rules.

Born with a deformed left leg, Togai has been the object of ridicule all his life. When he decides not to attend the Festival one year, his natural curiosity and increasing courage lead him to a startling discovery. The Short-Legged Fisher Boy of the Land of Left is the story of a boy who uses reason, logic and bravery to challenge the only world he has ever known. In this unique coming of age story, the Webbs have created a tale that will captivate young and old readers alike and take them on a journey they won’t soon forget."

In many ways this story is a social anthropological tale about cultural beliefs, community structure and values, work ethics, prejudices, discrimination, the interdependence of trading nations and is very similar to Jean Auel’s first book, The Clan of the Cave Bear. It is not a fairy tale with the prince and princess riding off on a white horse to live happily ever after.

As a book for children and young adults, it can’t help but be an inspiration: to think, to question and to find the courage to follow their beliefs. The story is well-developed and -written with excellent dialogue and realistic descriptions. The flow and rhythm are smooth and easy. You certainly will soon empathize with Togai and his many personal challenges. My hope while reading was that Princess Prandina would begin to consider the possibility that the Chelks and Zaprians were related in some way.

Ned Webb and his daughter Kalinde C. Webb are both multi-talented peopled, and I refer you to the book’s Amazon site (
http://Amazon.com) and the back cover of the book for personal details.

Would I recommend this book?. . . you bet and not just to children and young adults. Did you like The Clan of the Cave Bear? . . . then you’ll probably enjoy this book and for the same reasons. Congratulations, Ned and Kalinde!

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - June 2, 2006 - Copyright


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home