Original Books

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K Paul

Tipper, an emerlindian, and her mother, Lady Peg, live on an estate in Chiril, a country far away from Amara, where no one has ever heard of Wulder. Tipper and Peg live alone with their servants and caretakers, ever since Verrin Schope, Peg's husband and famous artist, disappeared without explanation. Tipper and her mother were forced to sell many of his sculptures in order to keep the estate afloat. But now Verrin has reappeared, bringing with him two unknown companions. For those who have read the Dragon Keeper chronicles, these two are Wizard Fenworth and Librettowit, only younger. Apparently, they have crafted a gateway that ends in Lady Peg's closet in an effort to reach the farthest ends of the earth. However, the stone they anchored the gateway to was used by Verrin to sculpt three statues. Now the gateway has gone awry and threatens to destroy anything it gets its hands on. Therefore, they must set out to find the three sculptures before it is too late.

Several things are to be expected in Donita K Paul books-good characters, a quest, and new creatures. All three are satisfied with Donita's latest novel. Because Fenworth is younger, he is a better character than he was in the later Dragon Keeper chronicles. All the new characters are realistic as well, each one having flaws and personalities. This has become a staple in Donita's books.

The idea behind the book is very original and ingenious. Donita has taken her creativity to a new level by using her own creative ideas in new ways. However, the problem with the plot is that there is only one end it could have-and that entails having the characters find the statues.

But there are many surrounding aspects that make this book Elite. Besides good characters, there are several plot twists, including a very original villain. Even though the plot follows along the same lines as the other quests she has written, she at least has made this one fresh with her original villain.

Tipper has a watch of minor dragons-two of them are healing dragons. Donita is creating her own brand of Literary Trash already. She needs to stray from this path in her next book before it becomes too predictable.

But other than these minor problems, Donita still holds true to her reputation of the best modern fantasy author.

4 stars

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