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July 2021 Review: Perfect Light Fantasy for Summer Reading


Author: Alyssa Roat

Publisher: Mountain Brook Fire

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

Brinnie has been sent to live with an uncle she’s never met at his mysterious Wraithwood Estate. This is going to be the worst summer ever. To make matters worse, he’s hardly ever there. She spends most of her time with the service staff. And there are wjuly-2021-review-perfect-light-fantasy-for-summer-readinghole portions of the house that she is banned from even entering.

At least there is a library where she can lose herself in books to tick away the time.

Or so she thinks.

Things are not all they seem at Wraithwood. Brinnie can’t help but notice that things are out-of-place at the old estate mansion. Most of the staff appear to know something they are not sharing. Uncle Merlin comes and goes so quickly, Brinnie’s not sure how he ever gets there. That’s not to mention the unusual things Brinnie begins to learn about herself.

Magic. Mazes. Arthurian legends in the flesh.

Maybe summer won’t be so boring after all.

Roat’s latest release is a fantastic fantasy novel for readers who want to believe, if for only a moment, that magic and wizardry exist all around us. Brinnie’s discovery of Uncle Merlin’s world and her heritage takes the reader on an emotional ride fraught with

danger, mystery, and the beginnings of an epic showdown between two different magical ideologies.

I completely enjoyed entering this world through Brinnie’s eyes and appreciated the uncommon take on magical abilities that Roat used in her story. Every reader can probably resonate with the “visiting a distant relative” feelings that the young girl must wrestle with.

The beginning of the book is a bit of a slow burn, which I enjoyed because, though I knew more had to be going on behind the scenes, I was tempted for a moment to believe that Brinnie was going to live out her summer in boredom. The middle of the book dragged for just a moment, but this is not my usual genre, so that may have just been me. The ending? Things really pick up after the midway point for an exciting conclusion that I read in a single sitting. Totally worth it.

Readers of light fantasy will enjoy Roat’s young adult novel. The set up is great with the mysterious home and equally strange Uncle Merlin. The magical powers are unique, and the world-building doesn’t feel overdone.

The book is clean. No sex. No graphic violence or gore. No language. No romance to speak of. Faith is present as the characters attend church, but there is no preachy message. Peril and violence are there but handled well.

Releasing July 15, 2021, from Mountain Brook Fire, readers of all ages will want to check out Roat’s latest. I’m glad I did.

Available on Amazon or through your local bookseller (support local business when you can!).

Disclaimer: I received a free advance reader copy in return for an honest review.


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