Home » The Zarder by Sara Jo Easton: A Book Review

The Zarder by Sara Jo Easton: A Book Review

by Terrye

In The Beginning
I was privileged to receive a signed copy of The Zarder in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It is a charming, unique and imaginative tale for young adult readers of fantasy and science fiction. It follows the story of an orphaned human slave named Jena, forced to serve a race of superior-acting, dragon-like creatures known as the Onizards. Under the cruel and tyrannical rule of the Onizard’s Day Kingdom ruler, the Fire Queen, humans are regarded as intellectually inferior beings, disposable; who’s only purpose is to clean the living spaces of the Onizards. That is, until Jena is fortuitously bonded telepathically to Senraeno, one of Rulsaesan and Deyraeno’s five newly hatched children.

The Plot Thickens
With the realization that humans are every bit as intelligent as they are and fearing the Fire Queen will destroy Jena and Senraeno, Rulsaesan and Deyraeno hide them in the Night Kingdom under the protection of Leyrkan and Lady Delsenni. The group of benevolent Onizards from both the Day Kingdom and the Night Kingdom conspire to oust the cruel Fire Queen, who not only murdered Jena’s mother, but also ended the life of the former ruler of Day Kingdom, summarily ending the peace that had been prevalent in the Onizard’s realm known as the Sandleyr. But, “Will courage and love be enough to defeat evil?”

My Review & Thoughts: Although the story starts out a little slow, confusing and adolescent, the tempo quickly picks up by the third chapter. The writing and the narrative, along with the characters, begin to develop and as the chronicle unfolds, the confusion begins to fade. The confusion may stem from being so incredibly unusual and unique that the storyline is hard to follow. Another point of bewilderment is the abundance of characters with similar names, making it somewhat difficult to distinguish who is doing what to whom. There is a list of characters at the end of the book and I found myself referring to this list repeatedly so that I could follow the story. However, by the end of the book, the characters and their adventure finally became clear to me and I was glad to have read it.

About the Author: Sara Jo Easton
“Sara Jo Easton drew the first Onizards when she was bored in math class (in her defense, it was the second day in a row of graphing a plane). Over a decade later, she has attended college for Journalism, has traveled extensively, and has somehow obtained two insane cats. Times may have changed since she first started writing novels in the 8th grade, but she would still get bored in math class if she had to spend two days in a row graphing planes. (This biography was provided by the author or their representative.)”

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