by Jacquelyn Sylvan
When I chose Jacquelyn Sylvan's debut novel, Surviving Serendipity, for review, I was intrigued by the
concept of a modern young woman finding herself transported to another world and finding she was a royal heir
and had an arduous task laid out for her before she took the throne. However, I wondered if perhaps the book
wasn't my cup of tea when I began its first pages and delved into the life of 21-year-old June out on the town
to drink herself into a stupor on her birthday. I wasn't sure I even liked June; but from chapter two onward
when June finds herself in Prendawr and in the company of four blue Valforte warriors and a strange sorcerer,
I knew I was hooked. June, I discovered, had remarkably admirable qualities and proved herself very noble from
the beginning, even when she struggled with being removed from a world and a life she found she loved very much
and tossed into a very unforgiving alien one. Soon, June and her companions are on a quest to find three pieces
of an ancient tablet that will tell her how to save the world. But not all is as it seems in this new world.
Like any skilled author, Sylvan has created a new world and refreshing new characters like the Valforte and
a beast called a draek that's a cross between a wolf and something else. Though there are other familiar beings
(fairies, aliens, dragons), they are cast in a much different light than others have done. The landscape and the
vegetation is also different, and so is the food, and many of June's growing abilities as she discovers that
being a royal also means she's a sorceress.
Surviving Serendipity is adventure in its grandest sense. The quest is noble, the characters are
complex, the cultures are varied and interesting, and the villains are devious enough to present delicious
challenges for the questers. This is a thrilling, most marvelous read! It is hoped that Jacquelyn Sylvan will
continue to bring readers other adventures. She has talent and has something to say, especially about social
issues that exist in our own world and in June's new one.
Since this book deals with adult behaviors (drinking, swearing, and sex), I would recommend it for more
mature teen readers and adults.
January 31, 2008|
ARC of trade paperback|
1590805860 / 978-1590805862|
YA / Adult Fiction, Fantasy|
More at Amazon.com|
NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!and co-author of
The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.