Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Last Seal by Richard Denning

Benjamin Silver has decided to cut classes.  Adrift after the death of his parents, he is having a difficult time fitting in at this new London boarding school.  But his decision to cut classes today will have far-reaching consequences.  He will be called on to activate the powers he has inherited from his ancestors; powers he has no idea he possesses.

In 1380, a demon named Dantelion almost broke free.  His only desire is to break the world and become its master.  He was instead trapped in the netherworld by a warlock, Cornelius Silver.  Silver sealed the entrance to that world with six seals and a final one that required someone with enormous magic to unseal.  Those seals have held for almost three hundred years, but are now under attack.

Arrayed against those who would free Dantelion are an unlikely crew.  Ben Silver is a schoolboy.  He meets an unlikely ally who lives her life as a thief, making her way on her own in London though she is as young as Ben.  They team up with a bookseller who is the head of the group that through the ages has worked to keep London safe from the demon.  A fourth member is a doctor whose father was recently killed in the fight between those who seek to imprison the demon and those who want to release him for their own gain.

Can this unlikely team defeat the forces aligned against them?  Their enemies have wealth and high places in the government.  They are unlikely heroes, yet the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. 

Richard Denning has created a historical fantasy sure to attract readers interested in this genre.  The plot successfully twists and turns, ratcheting up the suspense on each page.  He also uses historical events such as the plague years and the Great Fire of London to ground the story and make it more realistic.  Denning is a British author but will gain new fans in America with this book.  The Last Seal is recommended for fantasy lovers of all ages, from young adult to adult readers.

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