Review: One Realm Beyond, by Donita K. Paul

One Realm Beyond, by Donita K. PaulOne Realm Beyond, by Donita K. Paul (Zondervan, 2014)

At 20 years old, Cantor is ready to step from apprenticeship into his role as a realm walker. His first solo assignment? Travel in another realm until he finds the mor dragon who will be his partner.

Cantor knows better than to accept the first dragon he meets, especially since the dragon manages to set himself on fire (while disguised as a haystack). But the dragon, Bridger, keeps following him.

Soon Cantor joins up with two other strangers to this realm and the three humans, plus the dragon and his cat, mount a daring attempt to rescue some imprisoned villagers.

Isn’t the cover art great?

Donita K. Paul’s worlds and cultures are always richly imagined and filled with lifelike details, and here she’s working with a number of different worlds—the different realms which the walkers access through portals.

One Realm Beyond is a good read for the YA market and for adults. The characters are engaging and they take on what looks like an impossible task in their desire to challenge the Realm Walkers Guild’s corruption. The book sets the scene for the series to follow. To me, it feels like two short episodes combined to reach novel length, and I found the transition between them a bit abrupt.

Within the story, the characters face issues and questions common to us here on earth: a ruling council corrupted by greed, places of worship with declining attendance, and the question of why a good deity would allow evil to flourish. For the characters, as for us, there are no easy answers, but Cantor and his friends will fight for justice and not accept the lie of “what can so few do against so many?”

Donita K. Paul is known for her young adult fantasy novels and the dragons she brings to life in them. I didn’t realize she’s also the author of a number of romances, under the names Kathleen Paul and Donita Kathleen Paul. Visit donitakpaul.com for more about the author, or click here to read a sample chapter of One Realm Beyond.

[A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.]

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