Forestium (Portallas) by Christopher D. Morgan

Disclaimer: I helped copyedit this book, so I will not comment on the author’s writing style, as I am too close to it. However, that does not stop me from passing along my recommendations on who should read this book and why.

Forestium is the coming-of-age journey of Joshua, a young woodsman of a heavily forested fantasy world in tribal times. At the urging of his dreams, he goes on a quest to discover the fate of his father, who disappeared many years ago. Aided by two companions – his best friend Andrew and the Imp, Galleon – he starts out for the other end of the land. Soon he meets Sarah, who is on her own coming-of-age journey, and it is love at first sight.

Now the conflict increases, as his developing relationship with Sarah – one of the sweetest stories of new love I have ever read – is overshadowed by the growing intrusions of the Goat, an evil magical being that becomes more and more antagonistic towards the small party. Joshua’s simple journey of discovery develops into a quest to find three magical Orbs that will open the Portallas, the connection between several different worlds where the Goat sends his victims. The intertwining elements of the personal, environmental, and metaphysical conflicts weave together to create an agonizing climax.

Superb artwork, both cover and interior, combines with the author’s detailed world-building skills to enhance the reader’s enjoyment of the story.

The lovely naiveté of the romance, the simplicity of the characters and the personal problems of younger people suggest readers in the 12-14 age group.

Powerful emotion, tense conflict, desperate action and quirky secondary characters make this story a delight to read. Recommended especially for younger teenagers and for Fantasy readers in general.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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