by Edward Kardos
(Click on book cover to visit the author’s website.)
Just like Jonathan Livingston Seagull was more than a story about a bird, this novel is more than a story about Elias and his journey. From the very first page, Elias and the Legend of Sirok is told like a legend. It reads like it should be told aloud to an eagerly listening audience.
Elias is an artist, but his father is a farmer. His father gives Elias a month, until his sixteenth birthday, to decide on his future. With his grandmother’s help, Elias sets off on a quest to discover his destiny.
Along the way, Elias meets people in situations that are symbolic of all the choices truly available to any of us. Adult readers will appreciate the parallels between Kardos’ characters and real life situations. This novel is billed as a young adult fantasy, but I think a more adult audience will better understand the nuances of the story. If readers are expecting epic fantasy like Harry Potter, they will be disappointed. This is a coming of age story, yes, but it is more of a parable than a fantasy. It would be fun to read aloud with my students and discuss each situation Elias encounters, to help them make those connections.
Read an interview with the author here.