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The Legend Of Aranrhod
by Geoff Anderson
Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: ideas4writers (1 June 2007)
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The Legend Of Aranrhod is a mystical fantasy that will be enjoyed by children and adults alike, especially fans of C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia) and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter). Carys is a feisty but stubborn teenager whose destiny is to save the world ... but it has to be on her terms!
Back cover text
Dad's gone, the well's dried up and the farm is failing - and Mum seems to be losing her mind. Now Carys is to be sent away to live with relatives she's never even met. Can life get any worse?
But all is not what it seems. Carys's life has a purpose: she is the final piece in the Legend of Aranrhod...
Carys's destiny was forged centuries ago when a powerful wizard cast a spell to protect the world from demons. With the demons now gaining power and desperate to take control, Carys and her friends Zach (the brainy one), Beth (the funny one) and Suzy (the dog) find themselves in a dramatic race against time that will test their faith and courage to the limit.
Somehow they must solve the wizard's riddle and end the quest before the demons beat them to it, otherwise the world is doomed. But those demons will stop at nothing to get what they want.
The Legend Of Aranrhod is a roller-coaster journey of suspense, danger, deceit - oh, and terrible jokes! - with an incredible climax that will leave you breathless.
Do you believe in magic? Real magic?
Don't ask. Just believe.
Sophie Stevens (age 13), UK
"Plunging you straight into the middle of a nightmare from the first sentence, from the minute you open the cover and start reading, you are sucked into an amazing novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the last few pages. Welcome to the world of Carys Aranrhod Cadwaladr. Carys has always thought of her mum as slightly crazy, what with all her talk of magic and demons, not to mention all that talk about King Arthur and the legends surrounding him and the moon goddess Aranrhod - who believes in magic these days anyway? However, when her mum starts talking of a long awaited spiritual 'war' and sends her away from Merlin's farm, her home in North Pembrokeshire, to live with English relatives in Worcester, Carys goes along. At least it will be a load off her mum's mind, what with the well dried up and the farm failing, and she might even make some new friends. All is not as it seems though, as Carys, Bethany (her cousin), Zach (Bethany's friend) and Suzy (Zach's dog) soon find out. Isn't it enough that the chapter house decides to fall down around them in the middle of a midnight feast revealing a section of Aaron's rod - a lightsaber to all adults involved - launching them into a frantic journey of mystery and strangeness? For the Old Palace Worcester isn't quite the safe, out of the way, haven Branwen, Carys's mum, had hoped to send her daughter to. In fact, it's where everything is about to happen. Driving you to distraction until you reach the final few pages, this book is a successful cocktail of myth, legend, religion, magic and crazy jokes that keeps you guessing. Throughout the book various endings are hinted at leading you to countless possibilities, but though looking back the solution is obvious, you'll never guess how it happens. Perfect for all ages, this book will capture your imagination and won't let it go. Do you believe in magic? Real magic? Don't ask. Just believe."
N Jowett, Sheffield
"This is a very well told story, it has some great characters and lots of humour, it constantly hints at deeper issues (e.g. about stories, their power, and the power of the storyteller), it's a real page-turner and has a brilliant and (within the terms of the story) thoroughly justified 'resurrection' and happy ending to it. Among many good things: the relationship of teenagers, humorously and realistically observed; clergy seen as normal and human - and reasonably heroic; the dog, Suzy, as a real dog (i.e. not anthropomorphic!) but still a real character; the link up of themes around Aaron's Rod and Excalibur and the riddle for the finding of the pieces; and the brilliant idea of the lake appearing at the end. This story would make an excellent stage show, or even a film. In fact, it's really crying out for some special effects and would make an exciting and enchanting film. The only two small criticisms one could make would be that (a) the scary bits aren't quite as scary as they could be, if there were a little more concrete description of the demons and the miasma they create; and (b) the whole thing is actually a bit too short; it could do with a little more 'backstory' and more of the interaction of the characters to 'establish' them. But these are minor criticisms of a story told with vigour, style, sensitivity and humour. Younger teenagers will thoroughly enjoy it - and so will their parents! And without being in the slightest 'heavy', it's clearly the work of a person of faith and very much 'on the side of the angels'."
K Tyler, Worcestershire
"I really enjoyed this book, especially as it had been an anniversary present from my wife who had got Geoff Anderson to autograph it commemorating our anniversary. It could have been 'fleshed' out into a much longer book or even 2 books, but the fast pace, humour and relevance should appeal to the young and teens much more in this format. Adults should enjoy this just as much, especially as it portrays teenagers, the clergy and other subjects in a very realistic and refreshing manner with plenty of humour.
A good story of good versus evil using the legends of the bible and of Britain in a present-day setting. I look forward to any future publications this author."
Here is a book you will not want to put down. An ingenious and gripping story, well told and written with humour. It's a fantasy in the genre of C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper, with teenagers caught up in a battle against the forces of evil in a desperate bid to find the magical rod used by Aaron in biblical times. The theme may be a well tried one but the difference is these are modern teenagers, texting, using their laptops, taking digital photos, telling bad jokes - if you're of their age, you'll identify with them. But you don't have to be a teenager to enjoy the book - I'm in my sixties and thought it a great read. Without naming them, the book touches on many issues of our day - it's a fantasy with morals. The setting of much of the novel, in and around Worcester cathedral, is unusual, but the author uses his experience as a family man and parish priest to paint an amusing and slightly quirky scene. There is some delightful humour around the idea that the joy and exuberance of youth is an antidote to demons of any form.
Meet the author
The Legend Of Aranrhod is Geoff Anderson’s first novel.
Geoff has played: the guitar, squash, tennis, snooker, Subbuteo, and most card and board games ever invented.
As a living he has: built furniture, been a parish priest, and written.
To be outrageous, he has: lived in a commune, cycled over the Massif Central, and never done drugs.
For the love of it, he has: managed the St Petersburg Blagovest Ensemble since 2002. Olga Kozlova, their conductor, has invited Geoff to combine his book tours with their UK concert tours.
Geoff believes in: the power of the pen since he wrote a short story to convince his American girlfriend to come back to him, which she did. They now have four children and two grandchildren.
Geoff is an Associate Writer with the international publishers, Redemptorist Publications. He had an item included in the BBC Book of the Future, in which he foresaw cathedrals being converted into sporting venues – perhaps prompted by his own use of cathedrals as theatrical venues for his plays and musicals.
Geoff has written the book and lyrics for three musicals:
These have been extensively performed and are available for hire.
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