Children are invited to go on an adventure in a new book by a Shelburne County author.
The Underworld Magician: The Adventures of the Sun Children is a new novel written by Darcy Rhyno, the general manager of the Shelburne Osprey.
It was written for an audience of all ages, but with preteens in mind.
Described as a "dark fantasy of loyalty and betrayal, of inner strength and survival, the Sun Children must face their worst fears as their loyalty is stretched to breaking in order to save themselves and the rest of humanity from certain destruction."
The idea for his main character Toby, a homeless street kid performing magic to survive, first came to Rhyno around 25 years ago, but the idea never really left him.
Rhyno built a story to surround his character and, when he did the ‘fantastical’ emerged, he says.
“It is based after World War II and blends Halifax history with alternate history,” he says, and features “both real and imagined places,” as well as some nuggets of historical truths.
In The Underworld Magician: The Adventures of the Sun Children, the Nazis were victorious in Europe and Halifax is now a military outpost guarding the North Atlantic against the Führer. The retired gods and two very special street children – Toby and Sugar, the last of the Sun Children – are hidden in Halifax to prevent Hitler from achieving immortality and world domination.
Toby and Sugar are the twin children of the Egyptian sun god Ra. They survive on the streets under difficult conditions and become swept up in the affairs of world leaders and the gods themselves, one of whom is secretly planning to bring about Armageddon.
Through the pages of the book, Rhyno says readers will meet villains and creatures of fantasy while rooting for good to overcome evil.
“The two magicians will certainly clash,” says Rhyno.
He decided to self-publish the book through Amazon after publishers were not interested in the book. He was able to bring on Lio Lo as the illustrator.
“The simple line drawings are reminiscent of the novels I grew up with,” says Rhyno. “They felt familiar.”
These drawings will be up for auction during Rhyno’s book launch on Nov. 16 at the McKay Memorial Library at 7 p.m.
“The drawings capture cool parts of the book,” he says.
He says there are tough moments in the book for readers but it is all a part of the adventure.
“I really like the book,” says Rhyno, and he is not the only one.
He says reviews that have been coming in from his young readers are nothing but positive, including comments from some readers that they were looking forward to bed so they could read the next chapter.
Rhyno shares this review he received:
“Our eight-year-old nephew loved your book. He said, ‘It’s scary in a good way, and sometimes a bit sad. I like that it’s a boy and a girl that do things together to defeat the baddies. I wanted to read fast to see what would happen. I liked the fantasy figures in a real city, as they could actually be there and people not know.’ When I asked if he liked it, he said, ‘No, I loved it.’ He told his uncle that he has to read it too because it’s really, really good.
Buy the book at https://www.amazon.ca/