All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it's impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive with the power to travel through water—she'll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressed city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she'll not only have to confront Samuel's unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.
In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unexpected love, Ri must discover her own strength to save the men she cares for.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
To be eighteen with a deep-down desire to do something for someone else. This was a journey of more than love. She travels near and far. Finding friendship, understanding, love, respect, and a deep sense of self-worth/pride/triumph/success, and so much more. Come on this journey with Ri and those she met along the way. I found this read to most enjoying and adventurous. I will begin to read this one with the children later this spring.
Book One of this young adult fantasy introduces its tale with a map showing an island off the shore of a land mass which includes such intriguing images as a castle at Sea Dragon's Point and a mountain range called Funeral Mountains. This provides a visual sense of the landscape and adds an element of intrigue right from the start. Enhancing the sense of adventure is a prologue that features a goddess, her brother Death, and her sister Fate, who together weave a new world. But this sense of magic and intrigue received an immediate, satisfying twist when protagonist Ri awakens to a dilemma which also forges a solid sense of place in just a few sentences. Ri's adoptive father Samuel is ill. He suffers from incurable hallucinations, and she has to watch his every move while solidly rejecting the notion that he can't be healed. But she's stymied in her goal of helping him until she meets two strangers in the forest who have their own agendas, and faces a choice that could either cure Samuel or imprison her in another realm. The Waterfall Traveler combines an epic quest with a caring girl's coming of age and offers much to young adult fantasy readers. Perhaps its greatest strength lies in its ability to craft a tale with very realistic goals and concerns as Ri faces dangerous plots and counters many plans with her own. It's always pleasing to see determination, grit, and personal struggle cementing an action-packed story, and The Waterfall Traveler provides these elements and more, never neglecting personal psychology in favor of adventure. Ri is continually challenged and meets these dangers head-on; but always with very real fears behind her bravado, and this is just one element that lends authenticity to the action. As her relationships and choices drive the story, young adult (and many an adult) readers will find Ri's determination and rationales powerful driving forces to the story line, which lends it a flavor that makes it thoroughly engrossing and hard to put down. Can't wait for Book Two!