ADVENT by James Treadwell

ADVENT by James TreadwellA new author, James Treadwell has penned a delightful fantasy of magic and sorcery.  Advent, published earlier this year, is literally as well as symbolically the first novel of a trilogy.  Having so enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and still wishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had not been the last, this grandmother found Treadwell’s novel a very enjoyable and suspense-filled substitute; and I am looking forward to the second book.

In 1537 Master John Fiste—formerly Doctor Johannes Faust, the greatest magician in the world—goes  back in time to Ilium, during the time of the Trojan War, where he meets and falls in love with the beautiful prophetess Cassandra, who had been cursed by the god Apollo when she spurned his love.  Desiring immortality, Johannes was given the ring she wore as proof of her love for him.  However, later fearing for him, she asks for its return, but he flees with it.  His ship is wrecked, he drowns, and the ring is lost.

Nearly five hundred years later in London, fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes, who has always felt out of place and considered strange because of the voices he hears, is given permission by his parents to visit his Aunt Gwen in a remote part of England.  Besides Miss Grey—the name he has given to the voice he hears—his Aunt Gwen is his only friend.  Arriving at Pendura, Gavin, having befriended a woman on his train who turns out to be a former professor and who takes him to Pendura because his aunt has failed to meet him as expected, finds himself almost immediately at the center of strange occurrences . . . an apocalyptic mystery—left for a 15-year-old to solve?—as revealed to him by the priest, Father Rufus Owen.

Fast moving, suspense-filled, and enthralling, Advent can be read as a ghost story of magic, whose characters are strange people, animals that talk, and other fantastical creatures.  It can also be read as a coming of age novel in which Gavin (originally named Gawain) discovers his true identity. The book boasts a cleverly contrived plot in which past and present collide and are intertwined.  I predict James Treadwell’s first novel a best seller, and I am so looking forward to the sequel in this three-book series.

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