Farworld, Book 1: Water Keep

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Overview

FarWorld has been nominated for the Cybilis Award 2009. Now in the third year, the Cybils are an international series of book awards selected by a talented panel of children's and young adult book bloggers. The award seeks to find books that strike the balance between literary quality and kid appeal. Nominations were open to the public, and anyone could nominate a book published in the current year.
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Overview

FarWorld has been nominated for the Cybilis Award 2009. Now in the third year, the Cybils are an international series of book awards selected by a talented panel of children's and young adult book bloggers. The award seeks to find books that strike the balance between literary quality and kid appeal. Nominations were open to the public, and anyone could nominate a book published in the current year.
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Editorial Reviews

Lu Ann Staheli
Farworld is the story of a girl, Kyja, who wishes she had the use of magic in a world filled with spells, charms, and potions; and Marcus, a crippled boy who escapes his cruel surroundings by dreaming about another world. Together they take on the Dark Circle of the Thrathkin S'Bae and Bonesplitter. Prepared to keep Master Therapass's secret and protect Farworld, while seeking the first of the Elementals—water—to convince them to open a draft between the worlds that will save both the children's lives, Kyja and Marcus find their own magic and discover the secrets of their past. Fantasy fans will love the story because, like Harry Potter and his friends, these two likable protagonists are able to handle anything in a fresh and exciting way. Savage brings us characters with depth in a book well-suited to read aloud. Now is the time to start this delightful series. Reviewer: Lu Ann Staheli
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590389621
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/12/2008
  • Series: Farworld Series , #1
  • Pages: 384
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Tasha for TeensReadToo.com

    Thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas has always been tormented because he lives his life in a wheelchair. Everyone sees him as an outcast, even though he really is a survivor and dreamer and he just wishes that he could escape his life as an orphan. In an attempt to escape, Marcus creates a world in his head. Here animals talk and tell jokes, trees have personality, and, best of all, magic fills the air. He's even appropriately named this far-off place Farworld. Little does Marcus know that Farworld actually exists. <BR/><BR/>One night a mysterious man comes to the boys' house where Marcus is residing and claims that he is a state attorney. He has come for Marcus, claiming that his parents have been looking for him. What Marcus doesn't know is that this man has an alternate identity, one that could be very harmful to him. When Marcus realizes what he's up against, he tries to escape. Before harm can befall him, though, he is somehow transported to Farworld. After recovering from the initial shock of waking up in new world, Marcus meets Kyja, the girl that brought him into Farworld and the girl that is most often in his dreams. But Kyja is different. She is the only one in this world of magic that doesn't posses any magical skills. While Marcus is an outcast on Earth because of his paralysis, Kyja is an outcast in Farworld because of her lack of magic. The only true friend she has is her skyte (a creature much like a lizard, but don't ever call them that!), Riph Raph. <BR/><BR/>Together they must embark on a journey. It seems that Kyja's good friend, Master Therapass, has been keeping a secret for the past thirteen years that is particularly dangerous to both Marcus and Kyja alike and could change the fate of both worlds. The Dark Circle, the evildoers in Farworld, have caught wind of this secret and are dead-set on finding Kyja and Marcus. As the Dark Circle's power grows, it is harder and harder for the kids to stay away. Their only hope is to convince the mythical Elements -- fire, earth, air, and water -- to create a drift between the worlds. Their first stop is Water Keep. On their journey they will battle everything the Dark Circle can throw at them. Together they learn much about each other and themselves, forging an everlasting friendship. <BR/><BR/>Where to start, where to start?? Fantasy has never really been my thing. While I have always loved a good book that centers around magic, the whole alternate world has never been my personal choice. When I got offered this book, I thought, why not? I mean, I feel that since I'm a reviewer now I should expand my genre horizons. With that said, I was hoping to find a book that would introduce me into the fantasy world and give me a better look at what the genre is really all about. <BR/><BR/>The first couple of chapters of WATER KEEP started off a bit shaky. I couldn't really tell where the story was going and I felt like the characters were really mean towards Marcus. As I got further into the book, the story quickly picked up and I found myself enthralled. The author really has a talent for making a faraway place seem realistic. I felt like I was riding along with Kyja and Marcus in their journey across the country land of Farworld. The comments that some of the characters made, especially Riph Raph, were very humorous and I found myself chuckling many times. I also thought that the premise of the book was very interesting....<BR/><BR/>Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    It was the best book yet. I love your books . I would give this

    It was the best book yet. I love your books . I would give this book 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Great Book

    My daughters favorite book series. She is in 3rd grade.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Thoroughly packed with magic, action, and excitement

    Marcus, a thirteen-year-old boy living in modern times on Earth, has always found it difficult to fit in anywhere he goes. He is crippled, and must stay in a wheelchair. Because of his disability, many other kids his age, and even adults, look at him and treat him like he is some kind of monster. But that all changes when he suddenly finds himself in a completely different world, a world that he has long dreamed of. Along with his new friend Kyja, Marcus has to travel across the new world filled with magic and lacking technology to find the Water Elementals, who are key to stopping the evil spreading in the new world.

    If you are a reader who enjoys reading of made-up worlds filled with magic and glamour, then this book will definitely keep you captivated for hours. Filled with plot twists and many miniature climaxes, Far World: Water Keep never grows boring, and will keep readers turning the pages until late at night.

    Personally, I especially enjoyed the part in the book where, even though they are first turned away rather rudely, Marcus and Kyja continue to try to find a way to enter the Water Keep. This book stands out from others, because there are no lulls in the exciting plot, and the author doesn’t allow even traveling short distances to be easy for the characters, making it a constant thriller for young readers.

    Overall, I believe Far World: Water Keep easily deserves a 5-star rating, as it is thoroughly packed with magic, action, and excitement for the reader.

    Review by Young Mensan Tyler S., age 14, Baton Rouge Mensa

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    This book is the exiting begining series that will leave you beg

    This book is the exiting begining series that will leave you begging for more. Read this book as soon as possible!

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Water Keep by J. Scott Savage is the first book in his Farworld

    Water Keep by J. Scott Savage is the first book in his Farworld series.  Telling the tale of two kids from different worlds where neither of them really fit in.  Marcus is an orphan on Earth who has been crippled his whole life, when he was found outside a small monastery in Arizona he wasn't expected to survive.  The combination of being in a wheelchair and being an orphan has always made him a target for other kids at the schools where he has bounced around.  Kyja is also an orphan.  She lives on a world called Farworld where everyone, even the animals, can do magic in some form, everyone except Kyja that is.  Growing up for her has been hard as many people fear that she is diseased or cursed and refuse to let their children interact with her for fear that her condition will spread.  

    This book was very entertaining with strong characters, excellent pacing, and vivid imagery being used to describe the various locations in Farworld.  It's not unusual for children in YA tales to have to overcome a perceived weakness and find strength, but Savage does a great job keeping his story from being a cookie cutter copy of an established trope.  Marcus and Kyja's diversity has given them a bit more resiliency than normal thirteen year old kids would have, but each of them has developed different coping mechanisms that come into play through their adventures.  The supporting cast of characters was also spot on.  Riph Raph, Kyja's pet skyte (a small dragon like creature), was a great source of comedy with his constant verbal sparring with Marcus.  

    The scenery of Farworld is not too terribly different from Earth, everything just seems to be brighter.  There are plenty of things that set it apart in a major way though.  The fact that farm animals can talk and use that ability to tell jokes is a bit of fun.  The parts where the dawn chimes appear are especially capable of capturing the imagination.  

    Overall this is a great start to a series and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest and sharing it with my daughter when she is a little older.  

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Great High Fantasy

    I loved the idea of Earth having a sister world and that the two worlds must maintain a balance. I also enjoyed the exploration of ideas about what it means to be handicapped. Most of the fantasy elements were not particularly original, but the strong story kept my interest. If high fantasy is your thing, this is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2008

    Have to Read This One

    This is such a great book. I read the advanced readers copy but am anxious to buy the regular one which I think comes out on Friday. This is a must read for all ages. If you liked Harry Potter. You'll love Farworld.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Great Read for Anyone who Loves Fantasy

    Hadn't heard of this author until this book, but I will definitely be looking for more. I read this with my ten-year-old son, and we both really enjoyed it. Fast enough moving for him, but with plenty of story depth for me. Loved the whole Unmakers scene. Very scary and intense. But not too intense for younger readers.

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