Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset By Sarah Ashwood

Review By Don Sloan


Hannah is just a country girl at heart — but to the people of Aerisia, she’s the Artan, savior of their world. This excellent fantasy saga is the story of how Hannah — transported from Earth to the land of Aerisia by magic one fine afternoon — grows into one of the finest female heroines of her time.

The Moonkind and the good people of the city of Laytrii at first don’t know what to make of Hannah, standing before the Council in jeans, running shoes and a tee-shirt. Could this indeed be the One foretold to lead their people to victory against The Evil? Many have their doubts, including the dark-eyed, immortal men who will serve as her warriors in the coming fight.

They are the Simathe, and their leader, High Lord Ilgard, with his bronzed, muscular body and flowing black hair, is charged with protecting her with his very soul.

This vow is soon put to the test as a pack of vicious drocnords burst from hiding in a field near the palace and threaten to kill Hannah. Ilgard, however, summons a troop of the Simathe and they beat back the creatures’ wild charge, allowing Hannah and her strong protector to escape to the city on the back of a racing stallion.

“We must now be Joined,” Ilgard announces firmly, but Hannah, fearing further separation from all the things she has known for all her young life up to this point, resists firmly. But her resistance, as they say, is futile and she is carried off to the High Lord’s home city of Treygon, where she begins the long task of donning her destiny.

One vivid strength of the author is her ability to paint a compelling word portrait of the beautiful land of Aerisia, making the reader feel as though he or she is there:

“On the opposite side of the palace, more fields quickly gave way to scattered trees, which, in turn, yielded to a vast, dense forest. And encompassing the entire vista — city, palace, fields and beyond — stretching as high and far as the eye could see, were great mountains, shimmering a bluish-purple sheen.”

It is this very gift for description of Aerisia’s fantastic landscape, as well as its people — from well-bred Moonkind to the wonderful Fairies of the forest — that bring this tale to life. And the characters, including the impetuous Hannah and the mysterious High Lord Ilgard, who dominate this YA standout, add color and plenty of realism to a fantastic storyline.

I give Aerisia five stars and recommend it to anyone who loves tales of other worlds and lands beyond the sunset.

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About Don Sloan

I am a former journalist with a major daily newspaper and now am a full-time Indie book reviewer. I love to write, read, drink good wine, and take short naps in front of my fireplace here in the North Carolina mountains.
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