By the Light of The Arch Dragon: Michael Mefford
Phoenix Jones is up at bat and hopes to get the winning run. But, something flashes within his eyes, his arm feels like an electric charge is going through it and the end result is not what he expects. Feeling downcast and letting his team down, his best friend Ivan is right there to bring him out of his slump. The two young teens decide that their next step should be to try and win a band contest to help with their family’s finances. But, first they have to convince one young girl named Marley to join the band as their singer.
Their first rehearsal proves interesting and when they decide on their songs and begin to practice again Phoenix and his friends enlist the help of his mother who creates an audience for the teens. But, something odd and dangerous happens at the close of their rehearsal and the wind changes, a strong mist over takes them and a weird snake-people giants comes out with witches and captures his mother, Marley’s brother and Ivan’s father thus the beginning of what you might not believe is a trip back in time when the earth was beautiful, the land and horizon magnificent and the world inhabited by Dragons. But, let’s backtrack for a minute and relate some facts you need to know. Phoenix and his mother have been living with the fact that his father disappeared two years before and no one has any idea where he went or why. Thinking he left for his own selfish reasons what he later learns will definitely change more than just that viewpoint. As he searches his town of Charleston, South Carolina, he finds nothing to link him to where his father has gone. But, something odd happens at his baseball game when his coach Pop relates some information to him that might help if he is ever in trouble. What would you do if your father really lived in another world, on Earth and was linked to this world forever? What would you do if you found out that those living there had psychic powers, dealt in psychic espionage and magic that could destroy a nation? When the dust settles and Ivan, Phoenix and Marley along with Pop see what has happened they realize that their only hope is to follow Pop’s direction, find the place he told them to and enter into a journey that would take them within the inside of a glass whale, through a wormhole and back to where it all began on Earth over 10,000 years again where the world was different and magic existed.
Entering the many magical lands we learn about the power of the dragons, the many types of dragons and their rankings. The pale, the shining, the resplendent and the radiant each have more powers than the other. But, that is just the beginning as the three teens are charged with helping to defend Juxagard and their inhabitants in order to save the dragon world and to help find his mother, Marley’s brother and Ivan’s father. Magicians that can change into dragons. Wars among each class and power struggles that will remind you of the world in the present. Magic is powerful and music even more. As Pop leads them to learn more about this magical land, the council in charge and their rile Phoenix needs to learn magic but has difficulty. Learning the truth about his father’s disappearance changes it all and what is father really is surprises him and his friends too. In order to save their family members they first must learn to understand themselves, face their fears and release their tensions. As Marley enters the chamber first she learns where to access her own special magic and realizes it is in sound and in her music the experience is amazing and revealing. Her understanding profound as Ivan enters next and the vision he sees of his father brings to light his fear that he might be gone and his true magic is in healing. How this works and how he can access his special magic is quite compelling as Phoenix is next. Some things are not that easy to overcome and when he enters the chamber his magic is blocked and in order to find himself and save his mother he needs to look long and hard into his own past, his own fears and soul in order to access his special magic. But, where he finds it will change his life and the only one that can help him to restore the balance in the world is the most powerful dragon: his father.
The Eldritch Council and its members with their leader Chang explains their plight, what needs to be done and we meet Lexia who explains what the Maranthian are and how their perception of time and dates are not the same as hours and why they are helpful in relating things that happen in the future yet go backwards in the past. The place where they are is called Aya Vin or the Way of the Dragon and on pages 81-82 she explains more. As Vin Chang takes control of the meeting and we get to know more about the enemies all three teens now face serious decisions. As I described what both Ivan and Marley endured in the magic chamber Phoenix has yet to enter. Learning more about his father, his powers and understanding as Pop explains that each one has a choice and no one can take away their choices in any way. As you learn more about what is expected you will also realize that one teen is still quite skeptical.
When Phoenix meets Nylah and explains her family, her fears and then he has to decide what is real and what is an illusion. Is the world where he came from a test and where he is now in the past real? How did he see his father? What happens will astound the reader and the final outcome you decide what is real and what is not as Phoenix once again faces more than just his fears.
As each teen begins his/her battle against the many different dragons, Phoenix is comes face to face with his mother who is being held captive. Eximan is in control but can he find his magic and release it before it’s too late? But, the battle won completed leaves him disoriented, confused and thinking he had seen his dad. What is real? What is what they want you to believe?
This is a story of courage, sacrifice, trust, betrayals, love and the hope that one young boy named Phoenix would understand the truth behind his father’s choices and remember that within the Light of the Arch Dragon your power exists and it will take you far. But, can his magic, Ivan’s, Marley’s and those of many others stop what has been started? The battles are fierce and graphically depicted as each of the teens and the dragons fight against their foe to undo a curse, stop the destruction and finally ride themselves of Eximian, Fangamar and the Wampiiric curse. An ending you won’t believe and the truth behind a dragon’s identity revealed as Ivan and Marley are sent home to guard the present time from those in the past. The truths are revealed, the paths are crossed and the ending will surprise readers. Listen to the music, hear the words, listen to the song and feel the magic. What really happened to his parents? Where does everyone wind up and who will be the next one to posses the Light of the Arch Dragon? One young man learns the meaning of love, trust and the power of magic told by many different voices and as they take you back 10,000 years to where it all began as author Michael Mefford teaches teens and adults many lessons in this novel: Hope, love, faith, trust, understanding, forgiveness and most of all the courage to be who you are! Hear the music! Listen to the words: Listen to the song it can set you free!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer