The Southern Lands - Reviews

"Xannu follows the young boy Terry (aka Teern) through both his lives. In one he is a normal kid just trying to get through school and hanging out with his friend Joe. In the other he is a soldier blessed with immortality by the Almighty until he finds and announces the Xannu. As Terry he remembers all his adventures as Teern, but as Teern he has no memories of Terry. At first everything is just a fun adventure, but when the two lives start to collide it becomes way more serious for Terry. He starts to struggle through school and things take a nasty turn with his best friend Joe. This is a fairly complex story with a lot of characters and bridging two mostly separate realities. However it was told in very understandable way with no confusion at all. The characters are introduced at a good pace so you get to know all of them a little bit before moving on to the next. I really prefer that style as opposed to a story where all the characters are introduced in a lump and then you have to sort them out yourself. Paul Dorset also makes Terry and Joe very easy to relate to for young adults reading this book. I could easily remember myself at that age and understood them very well. The book also had a wonderful pace, it never got bogged down with extraneous details or dialogue. I was kept entertained and did not want anything to interrupt my reading. This is a book that will make family reading time in my house for certain. Wonderful job Mr Dorset."

"Xannu - The Prophecy is further proof that commercial publishers have no monopoly on writing talent or writing quality. This is a good read with believable and entertaining characters, and a plot that pulls you along. Dorset sets up a YA fantasy that follows many of the conventions of the genre: an invented world where countries have strange names, technology is at the level of the middle ages and magic works. Strange monsters plague humanity. At first, that was a turn-off for me. I am looking for something different. But I found that right at the beginning of Xannu - The Prophecy when the main character has a conversation with the Power Almighty. Dorset also inserts another twist on the fantasy trope with characters who travel between his invented world and a very prosaic, middle-class suburban reality. That's not really new, of course - think CS Lewis - but I really identified with Dorset's homey characterizations. He is very good at breathing life into his characters. All his characters are fallible and funny, even the Power Almighty and his opposite, the power of evil. There's a lot of humour, from the personality of the bumbling warrior-hero, to the frustrated ire of the Power Almighty (not so almighty, it seems), to the name of the tall quasi-humans, "Upthairs." Now, personally, I was a little dismayed by the appearance of the princess and other royalty in this book. Maybe that's just me, but I enjoy stories about regular people far more. Still, in this plot, the royalty makes sense. And again, they are believable characters in their roles. The quality of writing is very high in this e-book. There were no more typos or formatting errors than I have seen in typical print books from the biggest publishers. With books like this available on e-bookstores, there's no way that the big publishers can claim to be better than any independent author. There is only one drawback: to get to the end of the actual story, I have to buy the next book in the series!"

"This is a wonderfully engaging tale, imaginatively written. An interwoven tale of two worlds - present day and a mystical land of an age long past - but is it? Once I started reading, it was difficult to put down! You'll find yourself drawn into the story and immersed into the lives of the characters. Highly recommended for all ages."

"Taking place in both a fantasy world and present day, Paul Dorset takes readers of all ages through a great tale of adventure. I recommend this for young adults seeking adventure and for adults seeking a "get away" from this world of "hurry up." This will be a series you will start and find yourself anxiously awaiting the next book to see what adventures are coming up."

"Wonderful book full of rich, interesting characters and fast paced, evolving plot lines. From the very beggining the reader is drawn into the tale and the pages turn as you long for "what happens next." I highly recommend this book for fantasy lovers, those who appreciate great characters, and those who like a good-old-fashioned page turner."

"Refreshing children's fantasy that continues to draw you in until finished. As an adult, I enjoyed it as much as my kids did."

"I have just finished reading this and I've immediately downloaded book two and the brevity of this review reflects my eagerness to get started reading it."

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