The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes
Each year in the village of Quendal, young men on the verge of manhood are sent on a quest. This year it is 14yr old Marcus turn, along with Jerriod, Zody, Clovis, Tristan and Kelvin. The six are on a quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. They have no idea, what or who the Rock of Ivanore is or even where to begin the search, discovery that is all apart of the journey. The story revolves around Marcus, who is an orphan and always felt like an outsider. He is the only student of Zyll an older sorcerer who the other boys laugh at. Marcus has a natural talent for magic, he simply has to practice and the quest gives him the opportunity.
Reyes doesn't do anything new with this story but she tells it well. Marcus and Kelvin's growing freindship is a nice dymanic. As is the very solid diagolue throughout. There are a lot of close calls and the author does a very good job with these scenes. The visual appeal of them will grab a few reluctant readers.
"Marcus ran and within moments stumbled upon the gruesome sight. Kelvin lay unmoving on the ground. Bryn sat on his haunches beside him, his mouth stretched unnaturally wide like a python about to swallow its prey. His eyes glowed yellow. Upon seeing Marcus, the creature let out a deafening, animal like howl. Marcus rushed forward, swinging Xerxes like a club. The creature leapt out of the way and slashed at Marcus's back with needle like claws that had grown along its fingertips. Marcus fell to his knees beside Kelvin. He could feel blood trickling down his back."
I loved the action that leads up to the end which was very satisfying. It is nice to read a book in a middle grade fantasy series that does not end in a cliffhanger. An enjoyable page turner.
Read prologue and chapter one via authors site