The world of Lor Mandela is dying, and the one person that can save it has vanished without a trace.
Through a case of mistaken identity, a teenager in Iowa is about to realize that her idea of reality may not be real, and the future of an entire civilization may actually depend on her.
A selfish twin enchantress unwittingly sentences the world of Lor Mandela to its untimely death. Only one can save it—the appointed Child of Balance, Audril Borloc—But how can a small child solve a prophetic riddle that baffles even the wisest adults? And who will save Lor Mandela when, shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace?
Audril Borloc must be found. When a group of spies travel to Earth looking for the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes—traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling Borloc family—they find sixteen-year-old Maggie Baker. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits—evidence enough for the desperate spies.
Following an earthquake that no one feels but her, Maggie’s mundane existence is launched into a thrill ride of twists and turns as she begins bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the strange and diverse lands of Lor Mandela. Amid battling a ferocious two-headed beast, being abducted by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the captivating son of an evil warlord, Maggie soon discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the world of Lor Mandela may just be hers alone to save.
Excerpt from Chapter XXVI--Two Heads are Scarier Than One
This time the picture in front of Maggie was much clearer than it had been before--clearer and more frightening. She was in a large meadow, but it wasn't like earlier. It was night this time--dark and eerily quiet.
The still, black canopy above was shredded by literally millions of jagged stars which, by virtue of their numbers, should have been far more illuminating than they were.
Across the field was the scariest looking forest she'd ever seen. All of the trees appeared to be nearly dead and leafless. Their twisted, gnarled, charcoal branches jutted out at odd angles creating a chaotic maze of tangled limbs. A dense murkiness hung close to the ground, tightly encircling the distorted tree trunks. The muck looked as though it was trying to strangle away any life that the trees might have had left in them. Behind the forest, a small, crooked mountain protruded up from out of nowhere. It was steep and harsh with a sharp, angry form. The shadows that were cast by the sadistic stars overhead played on its crevices and outcroppings, sending demonic faces rippling across its surface.
The scene was straight out of a horror movie. As Maggie took it all in, a chilling wave of fear rippled through her body. She attempted to remain calm, but what she saw next ripped the calmness right out of her and threw it to the low, howling wind.
Lor Mandela--Destruction From Twins by L. Carroll
Lor Mandela--Destruction From Twins by L. Carroll captured my interest even before I opened the book. The front cover features a beautiful young woman with piercing blue eyes and a rupturing planet. The back cover text describes a dying alien world, a prophetic riddle, and a "Child of Balance" who may or may not be a teenager from Earth. Immediately, I sensed I was holding an epic, entertaining read in my hands. I can tell you that Lor Mandela did not disappoint.
In Part One on Lor Mandela, twin sisters position themselves to take power as the Vritesse (the matriarchal leader of the Trysta race) after their mother dies. Soon it is discovered that Lor Mandela is dying and will be destroyed. The soul of the planet appoints a "Child of Balance" named Audril Borloc, who must solve the prophetic riddle known as the Advantiere to save the planet. Shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears during an attack on Mandela castle. Several Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of Audril.
In Part Two we meet our heroine, Maggie Baker, a bored but typical sixteen-year old living in Glenhill, Iowa. Small town life has Maggie longing to ease the boredom, even swimming nude in the local pond. Little does she know that her wish will soon be granted with a grand adventure beyond her wildest imagination. Maggie, despite the age difference, possesses an uncanny resemblance to Audril, including the blue eyes and black hair which are traits exclusive to the ruling Borloc family on Lor Mandela.
Author L. Carroll has created an entire universe with loveable creatures, horrible monsters, and mysterious magic, effectively keeping readers of all ages captivated from cover to cover. Carroll gradually builds the momentum over the first 300 pages. Then she throws us onto a rollercoaster of twists and turns in the closing chapters as two great armies clash with a dying planet as the background. Just when you're able to catch your breath, the author hits you with a whopper of an ending, effectively setting up the sequel.
I would like to have seen Maggie appearing sooner in the story, as younger readers will quickly bond with the strong yet vulnerable protagonist. However, there is plenty going on throughout to keep less experienced readers turning the pages. Maggie's time to shine is in the second half of the book and shine she does.
The conclusion of the Harry Potter series has left a largely unfilled gap in the fantasy/young adult genre. A gap, I believe, L. Carroll's Lor Mandela Trilogy will fill quite nicely. I highly recommend Lor Mandela and rate it as a Must Read for fans of this genre.
By William R. Potter for Reader's Choice Reviews http://www.readerschoicereviews.com