“You seem like the curious type. That makes for a good adventurer.”
Ready for ancient forces and the threat of eternal darkness? This time it's in the form of a charming new series called Lightfall (Harper Alley) by Tim Probert. Book one is The Girl and The Galdurian, has our protagonist Bea, pulled out of the safety of home on a quest to find her uncle who has recklessly set off on his own quest. Although Bea is fired up with moral sense of right and protective love for her uncle, she’s also plagued with fears and self-doubt. Fortunately, she’s accompanied by a helpful stranger known as Cad, an unusual creature who has boundless levels of optimism and sense of adventure; plus, as we soon discover, he has an important link to a bigger story at work.
The art is charming, with a lovely autumnal colour palette and deftly handles some nice moments of comedy as well as hinting at the darker elements to presumably come in future volumes. Cal has a nice simplicity to him reflected in his design while Bea’s fears are aptly conveyed thru her large eyes and the wisps of darkness that gather around her as she become frightened. The book could have been subtitled How To Be Brave because Probert handles this theme nicely, never making Bea's fears exaggerated or improbable – at one point when she lists her concerns Cal says “Sure, any of that could happen.” The key is to not ignore them but look beyond them.
A story that retains a sense of drama without becoming grim, a decent page count plus a lovely cover makes this is a great book for younger readers.