Monday, September 1, 2014

A Path Toward Home by Heather R. Lorenz

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Christian
Source:  I received a copy from the author to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
As a little girl growing up in post-World War II America, Constance loved her mother's vivid bedtime stories of a motherless prince. When Constance was six, that life ended; she spent the rest of her childhood with her uncle and aunt in Canada.
At 17, bored and lonely after her best friend moved away, Constance smacks her head, wakes up in the country of Avonea, meets the prince of her mother’s childhood stories, and discovers that her mother had made the same mystical journey. Is this world of fantasy and magic real or just a dream?
Dream or real,Constance just wants to go home because she knows her uncle will be frantic with worry for her. Prince Drinian and his advisor Woodphere agree to help her, and Constance finds herself living an adventure story as the three journey through dangerous country peopled with enemies of the future king.

A Path Toward Home is the first book in The Annals of Avonea, an adventure series inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia and written by high school student Heather Lorenz.  “… the plot of this book is very exciting, with twists and turns that keep you reading. The ending was unexpected and satisfying. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone!” says one reviewer. Suitable as an ebook for juveniles and adults from new to golden, this modern classic will appeal to fans of adventure, mystery, romance, time travel, science fiction, fantasy, and faith-based fiction.

My Thoughts:
To say I loved this book is an understatement.  I am impressed with the ability this young writer has to create two worlds that are so realistic. Her ability to pull the reader into the life of Constance, who has faced such hardship is truly an art.  From the minute I began to read about the hardships Constance had to face and her reaction to them I knew I was hooked.  This is not one of those books where you are lead to believe that the main character has bad things happen and then breaks into song singing "the sun will come out tomorrow." I could feel her pain and anguish with each new trial thrown her way.  I loved the way Constance and Prince Drinian butted heads from the very beginning.  I was rooting for them all the way through, hoping there would be a relationship.  I felt so bad for Woodphere knowing how he had felt for Constance's mother. 

When Constance tries to make friends with a young girl who in in love with the Prince and finds a jealous girl instead she is heartbroken.  She feels she has to do something to make things right and learns that sometimes things are out of your hands.  I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the way God was woven into the plot. This is not an in your face, preach at you type of book.  You are subtly shown their faith.  It comes through in the way Prince Drinian tries to help his people and even his enemies. I loved the story of how they received the first Bible on their planet.  That was something else that was different from most time travel books.  The character is not transported back in time so much, but to another planet.  I agree with the blurb that at times I felt like the story had a Chronicles of Narnia feel.  To me this young lady has great talent and definitely understood the writing style of C.S. Lewis. However, I honestly loved this one more and that is saying a lot since I am such a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia.  This is only the first book so I am hoping she writes quickly, since this one just came out August 2.  I will be waiting enthusiastically for the second book.  I need to know if Constance and Prince Drinian will meet again.

About the Author:
Heather Lorenz is the author of A Path Toward Home, the first book in The Annals of Avonea series. She is the third of three daughters, and is currently a high school student living in rural Ohio with her parents and her favorite cat, Chuzzy. Heather loves reading, traveling and making new friends.

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