It starts slow.
But it quickly becomes an engrossing and intriguing tale of two ordinary teenagers thrust into a non-ordinary life.
Kendra E. Ardnek has been working on this story for seven years, and the depth of her work shows in her characters. She has infused life into Clara, Andrew, Laura, and their friends. Each one has a true-to-life personality that it’s easy to befriend while poring over the pages of their story.
The entire concept of the story is intriguing. It answers a fundamental question that everyone has wondered: “What if I stepped in the shower and it was really a waterfall and I stepped out as a Water Princess?”
Okay, so maybe most people never have that thought. But the idea touches a chord inside of us – the thrilling realm of the imaginative “what-ifs” that adulthood never truly loses. And when Kendra had that thought, pursuing the trail of where it led her resulted in a complex and deep story that reveals the workings of Alphego (God) in the lives of those whom He has called.
Following Clara, Andrew, and their friends as they find themselves caught in His plan is an adventure of trusting Him, no matter what personal preferences might be or how crazy the situation looks.
As for the plot and content, it’s masterfully done. Some parts are predictable and the action is slower, but so many unique elements fill the sequence that the story is indeed a page-turner. There’s a bit of romance. And thumbs-up to Kendra for how her characters don’t rush into things but are willing to step back, wait, and take things slowly.
The world-traveling element of the story is also a unique plot element that adds interest to the story with the twists and turns of time, connections, and how past, present, and future mix themselves up. It keeps the readers as well as the characters on their toes.
This book has a very large cast of characters that can be slightly difficult to keep straight. However, the story is long enough that the major characters are clear and the minor characters are mentioned in such a way that they can be kept track of, even if their personalities and roles might not always be developed thoroughly.
Watching Clara and Andrew work through their struggles, both individually and together, was inspiring. Both of them are normal teens with normal feelings and issues, but both of them seek Alphego and learn to submit to Him instead of running their own lives. As they learn to put the needs of others above their own, both grow and mature throughout the book. Cause/effect is strong and clear in this story.
Dialogue is realistic and believable. The backstories are hinted at just enough to support the main story with their own unique strength. Elements of the story in the beginning tie in very well throughout the book and in the end. Overall, Rizkaland is a fresh and believable world with interesting geography, science, and history that are revealed in small snippets in natural ways interspersed throughout the story.
I recommend it for all ages. There is very minimal violence (some creatures are killed and on occasion, characters are injured by animals), there is minimal romance, and there is a very clean feel to the story.
This is not a light read – it is a thick book with five parts. However, it is well worth the time, both in entertainment and, more importantly, on an inspirational level. Kendra’s goal in her writings is to glorify God, and this theme is clear in Water Princess, Fire Prince.
“Forgive me if this sounds like a strange question, but what do you know of the various arts of combat?”
Clara narrowed her eyes. “Could you be more specific?” Sure, her dad taught Tae Kwon Do, her mom taught fencing, and Kath’s dad taught archery, and thus she was well-trained in all three. However, she wasn’t ready to put her weapons on the table until she knew what weapons were needed and for what.
“Well,” said Lord Erik, “have you done any training with a bow and arrow, perhaps with a knife? I know this may seem like a strange question, you being a girl and all.”
Oh, please. “Do you really expect me, a young girl, to know how to use a weapon?” she asked. “Besides, where I come from, we barely even use those sorts of weapons anymore.” She paused a moment, then added, “I can throw my shoe at mouse kings, but that’s probably about it.”
“Unfortunately, our problem is a bit bigger than a mouse king,” said Lord Erik, sounding a trifle confused as he narrowed his eyes.
“Really? Because mouse kings can be huge problems, eating all of the sweets and chewing holes in dresses,” said Clara in her best shocked voice, layering in plenty of concern. “What could be worse than that?”
Lord Erik took a deep breath, while the dark-haired young man on Clara’s right whispered something under his breath. Clara shot this young man a conspiratorial smile, because she felt like it.
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