Antiquitas Lost by Robert Louis Smith


TweenFantasyAntiquitas Lost by Robert Louis Smith

Illustrated by Geof Isherwood

Due to the strange striped birthmarks on the back of his hands, Elliott has always been an outsider. The other kids always tease him and push him around. His mother is very sick and the two of them moved to New Orleans with his grandfather. Even though they’ve only been there a couple weeks, the kids in the neighborhood are already teasing him.

His grandfather tries to help and tells the folklore about their family and the New Orleans mansion. While Elliott thinks they are interesting stories, he thinks they are only that. His grandfather insists he go to the basement. When he starts checking the underground room, he learns the stories are real. The passage under the house leads to a new world called Pangrelor.

Pangrelor is on the eve of war. The shamalans have almost died out and Harwelden is in grave danger. Harwelden is Pangrelor’s greatest civilization. They have been ruled justly for over a thousand years. Now the serpans want to take the land, claiming it had once been theirs. They are an evil, devious, warring culture.

Princess Sarintha has been kidnapped by the serpans. She is the last of the shamalans and the rightful ruler of Harweldon. When Elliott arrives in the land, he is regarded both suspiciously and as the prophesied savior of their world. It just depends on who one asks. Now Elliott has to learn about his heritage and to try to save Harwelden.

If you like The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series and don’t care for copies, don’t read Antiquitas Lost. This older children’s book strives to be a sweeping saga. Instead I found it slow reading. It got to the point where I was ready to jump to the end. But at that point I had reached the beginning of the final battle. So I finished it. That’s also when Antiquitas Lost picked up and become more interesting. That was much too late, though, to hold my interest.

Robert Louis Smith has some interesting twists to his world, like the race of people that Elliott comes from. Instead of elves and goblins there are grayfarers (winged creatures) and gimlets. Instead of talking animals or hobbits there are susquats – who would be Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) in our world. The elements are there; the enchantment isn’t.

Geof Isherwood’s illustrations are throughout the book. They are realistic pen and ink drawings. They help bring the story to life. They are one reason I kept going in the book. There are times I felt the drawings were too busy. I think less fill lines would define the pictures better. Even so, they are all wonderful. Leaf through to book to check them out even if you don’t read it.

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