Phantasma is in shock and grief after attacks by Prince Gastle. Queen Laurali of the Elves sends her valiant group, including the short, stout and beautiful Dwarf Halli. There’s a lot young Halli doesn’t know about herself but she’s about to learn in Andrea Buginsky’s fantasy novella, The Chosen. Perhaps there are strengths in being shy and quiet and avoiding conflict. But first Halli must learn to believe in herself.
A wonderful story for any girl who’s ever felt unimportant or lacked self-confidence, and a fun story for lovers of elves, mages, druids and other creatures of valiant myth, The Chosen is an enjoyable girl-themed adventure for middle-grade readers. A nicely traditional omniscient narrative reveals motivations and conflicts. Pleasantly formal dialog offers smooth reading and a pleasing contrast to the youthful enthusiasm of teenaged Halli as she learns her powers. “Oh, my God, did I really do that?” she exclaims when her magic proves its worth in a lovely scene of swirling braids and powers. Then friends cheer and hug each other in celebration.
Armed with mace and shield, riding a pure white pony, Halli embarks on her quest with the team, completing various side-quests on the way. The story has the pleasant excitement and tension a role-playing game, with careful decisions, clever potions and spells. A final battle is gruesome but lightly described with no lingering on gore. And the whole is an enjoyable tale, well-edited with only a very occasional typo, and warmly told with wise lessons interwoven among sweet characters and exciting fun.