Water Keep (Farworld Series #1)

Water Keep (Farworld Series #1)

4.6 19
by J. Scott Savage

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Even though ­thirteen-­year-­old Marcus Kanenas is confined to a wheelchair, he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place—­Farworld.



Even though ­thirteen-­year-­old Marcus Kanenas is confined to a wheelchair, he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes, and where trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place—­Farworld.

When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two ­worlds.

But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass’s secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld’s only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical ­Elementals—­water, land, air, and ­fire—­and convince them to open a drift between the ­worlds.

As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them—­Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages known as Thrathkin S’Bae.

Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of their friendship, and the depths of their unique ­powers.

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

"Marcus, a wheelchair-bound 13-year-old, is bullied at his Arizona boarding school. He dreams about an alternate universe, Far World, and his dreams blur into reality after a Far World girl, Kyra, pulls him into her realm. Kyra has a handicap of her own: unlike everyone else in her magic world, she has no magical powers of her own. The two young people seem fated to join forces, and together, they embark on a quest to save Far World from evil....Its humor will entertain younger readers, and the characters are intriguing."—Booklist
ForeWord Reviews

"Plenty of action...[Farworld] should appeal to anyone who enjoys stories similar to the Harry Potter series."—ForeWord Reviews
James Dashner

"Consider me officially hooked on the Farworld series."—James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date:
Farworld Series , #1
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

 Mr. Allen tilted his head and leaned closer to get a better look. “Is it some kind of tattoo?”
“No,” Marcus answered without bothering to look himself. He’d seen the mark so many times he had it memorized. Upon first glance it seemed to be a scar or birthmark. But on closer examination, an image had been burned into the skin of his shoulder— like a brand on a cow. Hard ridges of scar tissue formed a precise likeness of two creatures doing battle inside an elaborately designed circle.
On the right was what looked like a mixture of a snake and a dragon— with a long, scaled body, a mouthful of wicked teeth, great wings, and sharp talons. It was locked in combat with another make-believe creature that seemed to have the head of a boar, complete with long curved tusks, the tail of a fish, and a bird- like body with long, feathered wings. Two pairs of horns sprouted from the birdboar-fish’s head, and a pair of human arms held a flaming sword high in the air. The serpent had its talons locked on the front of the bird’s throat, while the tusks of the boar were closed on the snake’s writhing body.
Mr. Allen ran his fingers over the hardened skin. “Who did this to you?”
Marcus shrugged. He’d had it since he was a baby.

Meet the Author

J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

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Water Keep 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was the best book yet. I love your books . I would give this book 5 stars.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

Read the full review at www.teensreadtoo.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughters favorite book series. She is in 3rd grade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the exiting begining series that will leave you begging for more. Read this book as soon as possible!
Bookblogger More than 1 year ago
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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lanack More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.