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"Kalifax" is a wonderful children's tale of high adventure, populated by characters both dramatic and comedic. From the crusty, doom-saying Cook to the valiant First Mate, each contributes personality and depth to the story, and viewed through the eyes of a young cabin boy, this is indeed a tale worth the telling.
The adventures begin when young Tom sets sail as cabin boy on the good ship Volantix (a fine elvish name). The brave Captain and intrepid crew are on a voyage of discovery: "We'll sail North," said the Captain, "to the Eaves of the World … sail into the eaves and shoulder through the icy narrows of the sea and then drop down the other side of the West into spice winds and warm waters and lazy islands that bloom like summer flowers." With this, their plans are laid, and Tom's tale of the magical torch Kalifax encourages even some less-than-enthusiastic sailors to sign on for this dangerous trip, to see "the fire that dances in the black night sky."
What follows is a beautifully-told story of ice trolls, snow-goblins, terrible cold and crackling ice; courage, comedy and triumph. The language is grand and rolling … this is a book which begs to be read aloud, a book which could engender in any child a love of good words and incredible tales. It roars and thumps with enthusiasm, rollicking through the Eaves of the World and on, at last, to spice winds and flowery islands, and finally home again.
About the Author: Duncan Thornton, born in northern Manitoba, is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His dramas have been produced for radio and stage. Kalifax is his first book.
Review by Teddi Stransky