In Akarnae, the first instalment of The Medoran Chronicles, talented Australian author Lynette Noni has created a wonderful, dark, new fantasy world perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter.
Feeling nothing but dread at starting a new boarding school, Alex is astounded to discover that her new school is far from normal. Walking through an ordinary doorway, Alex finds herself in Medora – a parallel world rich with magic and circumstance that she could never have imagined in her wildest dreams.
Desperate to return home, Alex soon discovers that she is trapped in this world and that the one person who can help her escape has suddenly gone missing. Forced to stay, Alex is enrolled at Akarnae Academy – a boarding school for ‘teenagers with extraordinary abilities.’
Alex tries to embrace her time at Akarnae, forming close friendships with other teenagers who are quick to embrace her as family, but the longer she stays the more she starts to notice the strange things happening around her, and that something (or someone) sinister is approaching fast.
Lynette Noni has wielded familiar fantasy tropes with an expert hand, and her world-building is second to none. Readers will delight to meet Alex’s new friends and learn about Medora and the Academy. Arkanae’s sentient library will be a particular favourite for book fans, and Noni’s focus on friendship as a plot driver – rather than romance – will be refreshing to an audience who has become accustomed to countless love triangle plot devices.
Alex is a wonderful protagonist, bright, curious and very much the heroine of her own story, and her journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her unique abilities and foretold destiny, rings true. Readers will find themselves identifying strongly with Alex, even though her circumstances are far from ‘normal’.
There is nothing better than falling in love with the first book of a series only to discover that the sequels are already published. This reviewer promptly spent the weekend devouring the next three, Raelia, Draekora, and Graevale. Make sure you keep an eye on the Better Reading page for reviews of these, but be warned: there WILL be spoilers!
About the Author
Lynette Noni grew up on a farm in outback Australia until she moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast and swapped her mud-stained boots for sand-splashed flip-flops. She has always been an avid reader and most of her childhood was spent lost in daydreams of far-off places and magical worlds. She was devastated when her Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive, but she consoled herself by looking inside every wardrobe she could find, and she’s still determined to find her way to Narnia one day. While waiting for that to happen, she creates her own fantasy worlds and enjoys spending time with characters she meets along the way.