Why did I read Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye by Kaza Kingsley (400pgs, Firelight Press)? I had bought the book for my son for Christmas. He loves anything Dragon related. But I have to admit, *I* only picked up the book when Ms. Kingsley asked me to take part in her blog tour. But I have to tell you, I'm very glad I did!!
On one of his very first days in New York City, Erec Rex awoke to find that his mother had gone out. She had left all six of her adopted kids with a sitter, and had left their very, very modest apartment before everyone had gotten up. But when Erec saw her glasses on the sink in the bathroom, he knew something was wrong. His mother NEVER left her glasses. In fact, she actually slept with them on a chain around her neck. In that moment, Erec got one of his "cloudy" feelings. Sometimes, when something bad was going to happen, Erec would get a "cloudy" thought....and he would be commanded to do what it told him. He had no control over himself. This time, the cloudy thought ordered him to find his mother! And the first place to look was Grand Central Station.
After a little bit of deception from his brothers and sisters, Erec was able to get away from the babysitter. Armed with only a picture of his mother, her glasses, and the cloudy thoughts, Erec set off for Grand Central Station. He showed his Mom's picture to all the vendors, and yet no one claimed to have seen her. Finally, the young girl at the Newpaper stand, told him to meet her away from the stand. She knew where Erec's mother was, but couldn't be seen talking to him by the owner of the stand, her uncle Earl. The girl's name was Bethany, and she had seen Erec's Mom go with some men, under the station. And not just under, as in subway. But through a hidden entrance under the street!!
Erec and Bethany soon set off on a magical journey to far-away lands. In a world where magic is the norm, and all the people in "Upper Earth" are losers who have forgotten the magic. A world where Kings and Queens rule, although their time is almost at an end. To find the new rulers of the land, a contest is taking place....a contest in which Erec and Bethany find themselves thrust in the middle.
When Harry Potter went into legend status, a lot of people tried to use the same formula to sell books. Boys and Magic. But this series, while using the magic background, is so much more than a blatant Potter rip-off. The worlds that Erec finds himself in are so different from our own. It's fun to see Erec and Bethany, two kids from "Upper Earth" try to make their way through the magical lands of Alpium. And while we get a small glipmse of who Erec Rex really is, the backstory about him and his brothers and sister is only touched on in this first book in the series. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this family, and a lot of questions still left to be answered. So I guess I'm going to have to continue on to find any really answers!!
All in all, I really enjoyed this book!! It was fun, mysterious, and magical. I think it's a great book for kids and adults alike, especially if you have a love of fantasy. Even if you don't, you will probably find Erec a really great character. Fun read!! 4.25/5