Ellen Kindt McKenzie,
The Golden Band of Eddris
(Holt, 1998)

The Golden Band of Eddris is by no means a book without merit; it simply fails to stand out from the hundreds of other mediocre books written in the genre. I find that these books have several common faults, not the least of which is that they take themselves far too seriously.

The plot in The Golden Band of Eddris is unmemorable -- two young children on a quest with many cliches (see Diana Wynne Jones's The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, especially sections on Rings, Maps and Mysterious Benefactors), and Keld and Elylden join the numerous other undistinguishable characters of mediocre fantasies.

On the up side, there is some very potentially interesting background, particularly concerning Anna. The settings are well done, and the plot moves along nicely. The climax, however, is far too ambiguous to have as much impact as it really needs.

If you enjoy this type of young-adult quest-type fantasy, you might give this one a try. As opposed to the implication of the cover art, the Sword Swinging Hero is not one of the cliches contained herein. For more in a similar vein, you might try Edith Pattou's Hero's Song. Personally, I'm going to go back to Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain.

by Jennifer Mo
26 August 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.