Written By: Diane Major

Reviewed By: Barbara Ann Mojica

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Novel

Date: March 3, 2013

Mason lives with his cocker spaniel named Bess. He is a twelve year old who has been sheltered by his mother, Anna. He is not allowed to play with other children or even participate in sports!  Mason is so frustrated that one day he sneaks away to participate in a community sports day. The next day his picture appears on the front page of the newspaper. His mother Anna panics and his dog Bess starts growling and behaving strangely. Why? Anna has been hiding a secret: Bess is not what she appears to be. Mason’s boring life is about to become really scary.

Worms come crawling out of his computer. Mason and Bess are sucked into a strange world ruled by slimy creatures known as Tejons. Mason discovers he is really from another world and that he has magical powers that allow him to sense the presence of others, and shape shifting powers to transform himself into other creatures. Bess has been masquerading as his faithful dog, but she is really a beautiful little girl. Their mother is really Queen Anna. She had to flee her kingdom when the Tejons became too powerful. Anna now realizes that now is the time to fight!  They have been storing up their strength to fight while she has been hiding her children in another world to protect them.

The family have many adventures and perils from which to escape before they arrive at the Citadel to battle with the Tejons and attempt to rescue their kingdom. There are many dangers lurking in the woods, the rivers and the jagged rocks along the way. Will they be successful or are they doomed?​​

This novel has a fairly simple plot yet an engaging one for preteens and younger teens. The vocabulary should be fairly easy to understand. There is a certain amount of tension in the story, but this is not a dark fantasy piece. The conflict is between good and evil with enough action scenes to please young readers. I recommend the book as a good choice for both boys and girls who enjoy adventure and fantasy.