Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ari Ara and The Way Between

"The Horns of Monk's Head bellowed low and sonorous. Ari Ara skidded to a halt. . . The Horns announced the change of seasons. Autumn had arrived. She (Ari Ara) leapt across the black rocks of the High Mountains. The wind flung back the hood of her thick, black wool shepherdess cloak. Her red hair burned bright against the steep slopes. The sky blazed cold blue. The wind nearly knocked her off her feet."

Thus, Rivera Sun introduces the superhero of her dystopian series "The Way Between" and its sequel "The Lost Heir." http://www.riverasun.com/the-way-between/  In these two books Ms. Sun has created a world filled with all the adventure and fun of  mystics, martial arts and magic contained in "The Hobbit," and "The Ring Trilogy" and the "Harry Potter" series but with deeper messages about the struggle between good and evil like the Star Wars saga without creating losers. As Ari Ara (Not This, Not That) struggles to find the truth of her past and the people with whom she belongs the way Oliver Twist and Huckleberry Finn did in the works of Dickens and Twain, she becomes the leader of a world of orphans and misfits dealing with bullies and powerful adults who have the power of Attar- warrior force.  With the help of the Fantan Grandmother, leader of those who practice Anar (peace through avoidance) the old warrior Shullen, The Great Lady, young nobles in Mariana Capital, and dress makers and hawk keepers she stumbles upon Azar (the way between) to lead all toward unity and the dissolution of war.  

This series is a must read for students in grades 5-8. Young adults will find endless entertainment in the adventure but also realize the story is showing them a way to deal with bullies, gun violence and poverty that has been the world of children since the days of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Parents would enjoy reading this story aloud with their children as well. There are not enough superlatives to describe this series so I will use the words of authors of the Marvel Comic heroes that best describe it - Wow! Bam! and Pop!