Young Adult Book Review: The Obsidian Dagger by Brad A. LaMar

Title: The Obsidian Dagger
Series: Celtic Mythos #1
Author: Brad LaMar
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Genre Type:  Fantasy, Adventure, Celtic
Publication Date:  February 20th 2013
Pages:  278 pages
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Publisher:  Light Messages Publishing

Little does Brendan know that stopping the witch is only the beginning…

When a mad witch with a magically crafted and frightfully powerful Obsidian Dagger threatens to obliterate humanity and overtake the magic clans of the Celtic Isles, destiny forces 17-year-old American, Brendan O’Neal, and his younger sister, Lizzie, to intervene. Joining the desperate princess of the Leprechauns, Dorian, and her two loyal companions, Rory and Biddy, they embark on a dangerous and wondrous adventure across Ireland and Scotland to thwart the witch and save mankind.

Battling the witch’s mutated forces of magical beings, the heroic band will have to reach deeper into themselves than they ever thought possible to find the strength, courage, and will to see their quest through to the end. Brendan will soon learn that the lines between reality, mythology, and divinity are more blurred than he ever imagined.

The Obsidian Dagger by Brad A. LaMar is an action packed, page-turning fantasy adventure set in magical Ireland and Scotland featuring a sister and brother team who end up on a quest of a lifetime.

A Brother and Sister Duo. Into the land of legend we go - Ireland and Scotland

Young 17-year-old American, Brendan O’Neal, and his younger sister, Lizzie have just arrived in Ireland with their father on a research trip. Brendan does not believe in magic (way too old for that) nor does he enjoy entering the land rich in legend and folklore. With his younger sister getting on his nerves and a father whose completely lost in his dream-come-true research opportunity, Brendan fears his vacation will be little else than potatoes, goats, grass, rain and endless singing of Danny boy.

Witches, Wizards and Leprechauns ... Oh my!

Everything changes when a mad witch with a deadly, magical Obsidian dagger threatens not only members of the Celtic other realm, but plans on taken on the human realm as well. Suddenly, Brendan and Lizzy find themselves at the center of a war between the magical clans of the Celtic Isles. Brendan and Lizzie join forces with the princess of the Leprechauns, Dorian and her two loyal companions, Rory and Biddy in order to free her father, who ends up being kidnapped and held hostage by the witch, along with several other magical beings from the other realm.

Courage, friendship and the need for good to triumph over evil

This was a fun and entertaining read. Geared towards the middle school / pre-teen age group, this highly action driven plot, unique illustrations, and visually descriptive writing will keep younger readers turning the pages. A fun setting, with tons of unique characters from Celtic myths and legends making an appearance in this story. The plot is straightforward with its bread-crumb quest to the witches evil realm in order to free all the captives. Light and funny characters, new friendships and a sweet crush help balance out the bad guys, making it not too scary. But, what readers, especially those easily bored, will find most exciting and captivating are the numerous creatures sprinkled throughout the story, both on the heroes and villains side.

I would recommend this tale to pre-teens or middle grade readers, rather than young adults due to its stronger action oriented theme rather than characterization. Even though the lead character is a seventeen-year, the feel is more pre-teen. Sweet and fun. I can see this being read as a larger chapter book, easily capturing the imagination of those hard to connect readers!

My Rating: 4 Stars. I really liked it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by  Light Messages Publishing  in exchange for my fair review. Thank you Light Messages Publishing for the review opportunity!