Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Secrets of Alchemist Dar by Michael Stadther

I received this as an audio book donation to the library.  I started to listen to it and realized it is the second in a series. I decided to listen to it anyway.  The first of the series, The Treasure Trove was a bit of a sensation.  The author put clues in the book that lead readers to real tokens that could be turned in for jewels representing characters from the book.  This was a big enough hit that the jewels were displayed at the Carnegie Museum in 2004.  The second book didn't do as well.  In this book there were clues to real gold rings hidden around the country.  When the book flopped the publisher went ahead and sold the rings to try to recoup his losses.

You might guess with all the gimmick, that the book itself might not have that much literary value.  You would be right.  The story was OK, but a bit sticky sweet.  There is a man who is married to a half-ling wife.  Her life is threatened by an evil sorcerer who wants to kill all good fairies and steel the magic charms that give them eternal life.  Of course the young man is able, with the help of his fairy and forest friends, to thwart the wicked plot.  None of the characters have any real dimension.  They are all just cute cut-outs of characters, dancing through the plot like stick puppets.  A very small child might like the book,  but it didn't have enough to it that I was willing to keep it for the library, especially since we didn't already have the first in the series. (144 p)

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