Galadria – Book 1

Posted on: August 4th, 2014 by bcg7700

Miguel Lopez.cover


Author: Miguel Lopez de Leon

Title: Galadria – Book 1 – Peter Huddleston and the Rites of Passage

Subject: Fiction

Release Date: Available now

Reviewer: Valerie Porter


There’s something familiar about Galadria – Book 1. It’s the story of a young boy who doesn’t fit in with his family or classmates and is sent away to discover his special powers. It might be tempting to think, “Oh, no – another Harry Potter imitation!”

But only the best elements of the wildly popular J.K. Rowling books have been employed here. The language has magical and descriptive overtones and the characters have fun names. Young Peter is called upon to develop powers that are his birthright, with the help of a boomerang (instead of Harry’s wand). Make no mistake, though. The similarities end there. Galadria Book 1 is very much its own story and very capable of standing on its own merits.

The boy in question is Peter Huddleston, whose father has remarried following the death of Peter’s mother, much to Peter’s dismay. Gertrude, the stepmom, is not overly fond of Peter and is very bland in personality. In fact, her best friend even owns a store named Blandy’s, where everything is beige, much like Peter’s home and the car his father drives.

Summer is just beginning, but rather than playing with friends, Peter spends time alone at the nearby lake, throwing his boomerang and even commanding it to snag a red apple from a tree, which it does. One day, on the way home from the lake, he encounters “Aunt Celeste”, owner of Blandy’s, who criticizes a chair Peter’s mom had given his father. An argument ensues and before he knows it, he throws his boomerang at her desk, knocking over a beige vase of flowers. She blows this and a subsequent event out of proportion and Peter becomes the talk of the village, including neighbor Mrs. Crewpot, who now believes he threw the boomerang at her, as well.

His only allies are kindly Mr. and Mrs. Twickeypoo, who run Creamers, a chocolate shop. But they can’t keep Peter’s dad from sending him away for the summer to Hillside Manor. It’s not a reform school but rather a 3000-room estate owned by his Aunt Gillian – a sister of his mom’s that Peter never knew existed. Peter’s dad says she is “strange” but still takes him on the 3-day road trip to Hillside. The Twickeypoos give Peter a special box of chocolates along with a message to choose them wisely and eat only when needed.

Hillside Manor opens a whole new world to Peter, as does his newfound Aunt. It’s mystical and loving there and he seems to be tied to its future and the future of Galadria, the Golden Realm surrounding it.

Aunt Gillian is Queen of the Realm and it’s Peter’s birthright to succeed her. He spends the summer training (with the likes of Ms. Homebody and Madame Cornhen) for the Rites of Passage he must pass to claim his position. There is a menacing rival named Knor, however, who challenges the succession. There is much excitement for readers young and old as Peter undergoes the Rites, with just enough tension and malice to make things interesting. The only glitch in the book that might keep it from great success is mechanical in nature – some stumbles in grammar and layout. Otherwise, readers should grab a box of chocolates (because of all the food and candy references) and escape into the intriguing world of Galadria.