~posted by Ruth
Jane and the Raven King by Stephen Chambers
Know any tweens or teens who are intrigued by fantasy novels that take the reader to a magical land with shape-shifting creatures, talking animals, and magical spells? This is a well-written page-turner that appeals to adolescents (as well as adults) as a well-realized fantasy novel written for contemporary readers. When the Raven King comes to take over our civilization, he uses the hypnotic qualities of technology to enslave the population. Jane feels as if she is the only one who is immune to it–and the only one who notices such odd goings on. The animals are all fleeing, but in a very strange manner: she notices the squirrel outside her window packing a tiny black suitcase; her pet iguana scrawls the words “He is coming” in the sand of his tank. Jane is transported to the center of the world to Hotland, a strange magical place where a cat-person called Gaius and a dragon named Finn help Jane fight the evil King.
When I learned that the author wrote his first two novels (this is his third) while still in high school, I became as interested in Stephen Chambers as I was in Jane. Learning about up and coming young authors is very much in keeping with the books and writing theme that we’ve been exploring lately. Take a look at Stephen Chambers home page for more information about his work, and for photos of the animals that were the inspiration for the characters in this novel. Chambers can be a role model for the aspiring young authors in your life.