Umbach Publishing, $15.00, ISBN 978-0-615-23663-6
Wyla the Witch is a cute fantasy story targeted at kids. Set in the mythical land of Rume, we have Wyla the Witch whose chief enemy is Wutan the Wizard. Wutan is an evil bloke who plans to form an empire of which he is the boss of everyone when he’s not imprisoning fair innocent blue dragons (really) in his dungeon or going on a mad rampage to terrorize his neighbors. Wyla wonders whether Wutan is responsible for some of the mysterious happenings in Myrtle Marsh, her village. What else can she do but to set out and investigate?
For a story aimed at young kids and folks who don’t mind reading such stories, Wyla the Witch focuses more on social interactions among its characters and as a result I suspect that impatient boys who prefer their stories to feature lots of action will find this one a rather boring story to get into. I find this story a most charming read though, reminiscent of those very young adult fantasy stories by Enid Blyton, only without any potentially objectionable elements, of course. The setting is vividly presented, the main characters are adorable, and the story is entertaining if somewhat slow at times. All in all, this is a most pleasant story indeed.
A note about the cover though – it’s not the most interesting or eye-catching one. But what I feel is more significant is how the cover art fails to be a good representative visual of what the story is. The front porch of a house surrounded by a garden is a nice one, but the image seems better suited for a book about gardening.