Reviews so far...
Review by: Marie10 on June 01, 2016 :
I love fantasy and I adore fairy tales! Fairy tales are my childhood love even though now I am old enough to be considered responsible enough to take up adult fiction tales more seriously. Even then, I cannot keep myself away from the mystery and fantasy that fairy tales are made of. Thus, I was drawn to TJ Roberts’ Fairalon when it came in the market and quickly started reading it to quench my thirst for fictional magic. I was not disappointed at all by Fairalon. Rather I was impressed by the way TJ Roberts created the tale of Iris who is an ordinary girl but is possessed with an unusual power. I would call it her power as she can see what others are incapable to see. It is her power to enter into the realm of otherwise the impossible. Iris learns to trust and that is one of the elements that our youth struggles today. I also love the phenomenon and technique used by TJ Roberts in creating the fairies on the names flowers. It is a brilliant effort that the author has made and in fact he has impressed me a lot. If there has to be a sequel to the novel, I will definitely wait for it!
Review by: catherine coleman on May 30, 2016 :
Fairalon is a wonderful read for every age group, it is well written and accessible at all reading levels. I'm impressed with the imagination of the writer on the description of beautiful places and variety of characters in such fine and magical detail that you can’t help but fall in love with the world he has created.
It's an adorable story about honesty, trust, bravery, and acceptance. The main characters Irish shows a lot of perseverance when the going gets tough, and I think the biggest lesson young readers will take away is the importance and value of friendship. Overall it was a great read, full of action plot combined with the fantasy aspects which held my interest all the way through into the tale. I highly recommend this book!
Review by cowboys1 (11 yo) at LitPick.com:
Fairalon is a delightful fantasy novel
that will most likely appeal to preteen girls. The main character, Iris, is unhappy after losing both her mother and grandmother within a two year period. She has been having very strange things happen to her. When she shares these visions with her father, he thinks she is crazy and takes her to see a doctor. Iris ends up finding out that she is very special (not crazy) and her grandmother knew it all along! When her grandmother died, she left all of her possessions to Iris on the condition that Iris moves into her home. In this house many secrets are revealed that explain all the strange happenings and how very special Iris is!
I have to start by mentioning the illustrations in this book are quite unique! They appear animated and are super colorful. I only read a digital copy of this book, so they are probably even more stunning on the printed page! The story caught my attention right away. I read almost 100 pages in the first sitting! I enjoyed seeing Iris change from a depressed girl with very low self-esteem to a confident hero! T.J. Roberts did an excellent job building her character and painting a descriptive scene of Fairalon, which is sure to make every reader wish they could visit this magical place!
Review by: Kelsey W on March 28, 2016:
Whimsical and Captivating
Sometimes, my guilty pleasure, is to indulge in a really good YA novel and this is exactly what Fairalon provided: pure whimsical indulgence written by a captivating storyteller. I’ve always loved fairytales and fantasies and this was a great blend of everything I love: a curious protagonist that didn’t really fit in, plunged into a new world, accepting who she is so she can face her own monsters and save the day!
Excellent book - I would love to read more. Who said these books should only be read by kids/teens? Everyone who has an inner child should read this book and enjoy!
Review by: Jru2014 on March 18, 2016 : (no rating)
Fairalon exceeded my expectations!
This book incorporates the fantasy world genre into young adult fiction. I think when I was Iris’s age, I would’ve loved reading it myself. I enjoyed it even as an adult. As an English teacher, I would recommend this to one of my students who favors fantasy. T.J. Roberts has a gift of creating a world a child would be able to relate to. In some parts, I was reminded of The Labyrinth (one of my childhood favorites.) I was also reminded of such classics as Harry Potter and Stardust. Roberts is really onto something with this book! All fans of YA and Fantasy should put it on their list!
Review by: ana209 on March 11, 2016 :
I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book. The story develops around a little girl named Iris who like most tweens her age feels awkward and different form the rest of the kids her age. She soon realizes and understands why she feels different. Her journey begins when she has to look deep within to find out who she really is and what she is born to do. It is about magic and about discovering a whole new world and understanding where she fits in. The writer does an excellent job of keeping the reader engaged and reading through the story.
Review by: Katharina Kurs on March 11, 2016 :
A delightful story wrapped in a fantastic bow ! A fun read filled with all the elements needed to captivate and enchant young readers. This story is about an eleven year old girl named Iris and how she discovers that the things that make her different from other people, are not things to be ashamed of and hidden; but rather, understood just as her Grandmother – who Iris has much in common with – did.
T. J. Roberts, is exceptionally skilled at telling this magical tale of this sweet and precocious young girl who is driven to be very brave, and explore deeply who she really is when a neighborhood boy goes missing; and despite Iris witnessing what happened to him – no one believes her.
Download this wonderful story that has all the classic elements of an epic fantasy the keeps the reader moving forward with many mystical twists and turns. The illustrations are colorful and are well-detailed works that add nicely to the story. Any fan of fantasy should download and read. both young and older reader alike!
Review by: Dannielle Swope on March 09, 2016 :
Iris is a smart, spunky 11 year old who has a mixture of good and bad experiences, which results in both bothersome traits and special gifts. This fantasy novel is very well written and engaging. The 3-D illustrations were a welcome surprise. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and will share it with some preteens in my family.
Review by: TeahMist on March 08, 2016 :
Fairalon by TJ Roberts is a well written fantasy novel for young adults. It is so rare to find well written young adult books with full color illustrations. I found the full color illustrations to be beautifully done; they really helped the reader to be able to picture the book in their mind.
The story itself focuses on Iris, an eleven year old girl; Iris has had a problem since her mother’s death with repeating almost everything she does, to make sure she gets it right, to make sure nothing that bad ever happens again. I really liked Iris as a character I felt like understood her frustration with no believing her and her desire to prove that she is not crazy to those she loves and cares about.
While Fairalon by TJ Roberts is a young adult novel and is geared towards middle school aged children it can still be enjoyed by adults. As an adult I found the book to be both captivating and intriguing the only thing I would have preferred would have been for Iris to be older, but that is one of the reasons the book is meant more for young adults than adults. I was provided a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Sarah_Fast March 06,2016
An excellent book; hard to put down. I was completely drawn into the world created by the author. Very imaginative. This book would make a great movie!
Review by: Shauna Joli on March 05, 2016 :
Amazing story of a girl named Iris, nice Illustration by author. It seems to me as real when i was reading, full of fantasy where she finds herself in a new world. I was with her all along in the story. full of mystery. A must read book for everyone. Book was beyond my expectation. (reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: JenniferReadsIt on March 04, 2016 :
This is one of those “enchanting” novels intended for a juvenile fiction/young adult reader audience. It also features illustrations, and full color, no less-something I always appreciated as they have a part to play in carrying the story along-when I was in that age group, I always felt like periodic illustrations were necessary-not because of short attention spans, but they help provide a visual blueprint of what the author is describing, especially in the case of wild, wacky creatures. Told in the third-person narrative point of view, Iris has had a death in the family and she’s going through the motions of expected grief, but some of her accompanying actions are out of the ordinary for girls her age. Little does she know that all the things her Dad tells her she’s imagining, are leading her on a journey beyond the new home they have moved to that belonged to Iris’s deceased grandmother.
It all begins when the neighbor’s son mysteriously disappears and Iris has an idea of where he could be, as crazy as it sounds. Following her grandmother’s wisdom of always taking the high road when the stakes are high, Iris and the brother of the missing boy embark on the mission of a lifetime that includes all creatures good, bad and ugly. Iris seems jaded about other people’s motives (earlier than I did in real life) but it’s served her well when dealing with some serious monsters in Fairalon.
All in all, the prose is very well-suited for the age group recommended, and the various creatures in the story, however close they are to familiar creatures of folklore, there’s nothing cliché about them. You’re never too old to believe in magic, as Iris and her friends discover.
Review by: Jane Lavuire on March 03, 2016 :
In an attempt to put it briefly, “Fairalon” is by far one of the most creative and unique fantasy books that I have come across over the past few months. This is the first book that I have read by author TJ Roberts, so I must admit I didn’t really know what to expect at first. But having said that, I realized early on that deciding to give “Fairalon” a chance was certainly a good decision.
What I admire most about this book is how well-constructed the characters are. They are all dynamic and quite realistic in their own unique ways many of them, especially the protagonist Iris, also have very varied strengths and weaknesses that contrast with each other to overall make the characters seem very three-dimensional.
As well as this, I also must comment on the illustrations. They are excellent and contrast with the text in a way that allowed me to easily visualize the different environments and scenes of the story – it’s a great addition to the book. In summary, I enjoyed the read and I highly recommend it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future releases by the author.
Review by: Vanessa Winter on Feb. 24, 2016 :
Fairalon is a great novel of which I do not want to spoil too much, but I will say this - It is 270 pages of adventure and fantastic events that will delight your imagination. I read it in one go. Just couldn't stop reading, because I always wanted to know how the story goes on. It is a wonderful
book both children and parents can read. You will quickly empathize with Iris, as she goes on a journey that describes an issue we face too much nowadays. We belittle children for their imagination or for not being like everyone else.
Inside the book you can also find lovingly made illustrations. This is a must read for all children who love fantasy, fairies and fairytales - it is especially nice for those who are different and are being bullied because of it. I'd read this author's novels to my future children. He really knows what he is doing. Can't wait to show this gem to my little cousin, he will love it.
Review by: Kellie444 on 2/5/16:
This was such a cute story. The main character, Iris, is such a sweet and caring girl that she just seems to come to life in this book. She has these unique quirks that no one seems to understand, expect her deceased grandmother. With fairies, magic and a coming to age budding romance, the book kept my attention until the very end. Very well written and a joyful book!
Review by: Debbie Raynes on Feb. 12, 2016 :
Wow! Wow! Wow! I so loved this book, it is magical and an absolute delight to read. I love books of this genre, with fairies and magic and I must say this is one of the best I have ever read. Iris is a wonderful character and her emotions and struggles felt so real to me. I love watching her discover the truth behind her feelings and her gentle heart. The other characters made the story perfect and the detailing is spectacular. It is written with a great flow and definitely keeps your attention. The illustrations are amazing and tied it all together in a neat little package. This is my first experience with this author but it will not be my last. T. J. Roberts is a brilliant writer with an incredible imagination and I want more of his amazing mind. I recommend this book to everyone; it is an adventure for the mind and will stay in the heart for a long time. It would be a great movie.
Reviewed By Jack Magnus
Fairalon is a fantasy novel for children and preteens written and illustrated by T.J. Roberts. Iris is tired of being picked on in school for being different. She doesn't want to be like the rest of the kids; she simply wants them to leave her alone. Ever since her mom died when she was six, Iris finds it necessary to do things, like tapping her legs and repeating actions three times to make sure she does it right. She still doesn't know, you see, if she had done something wrong to make her mother die. Now, her grandmother has died as well, making it even harder for the eleven-year-old to cope. At the funeral, the hair on her arms stood straight up, as it did whenever something strange was going to happen, and it almost seemed as though, at one point, her grandmother had raised her head and spoken to her. Most people dismiss Iris as being mental because she's on medication, but they're just not seeing what she sees. Gram left her house to Iris in her will, on condition that she live there. She also left five wooden boxes in her bedroom which is now Iris's, and there was also a note attached.
T.J. Roberts' fantasy novel for children and preteens, Fairalon, is an original and exciting epic fantasy. Roberts' 3-D illustrations are superb, and they work perfectly with the story to bring the characters and the marvelous world of Fairalon to life. Iris is a complex and engaging character whose comfort with herself, courage and curiosity are perfect attributes for a questing hero, and she takes on that role with aplomb. I enjoyed watching her spar with the Koan and negotiate with the goblins as she sought a way to help Charles escape their clutches. Fairalon is well written and the plot is full of action, close calls, and the friendship of stalwart companions. It's a lot of fun, and it's highly recommended.
Your illustrations are superb!
Midwest Book Review
Eleven-year-old Iris already has strikes against her: she's the new kid in town, and her quirky behaviors involve repetitive rituals and actions that have, in the past, been labeled an illness.
Now she knows they're something more: they are instinctive reactions to her strange and evolving abilities, and they hold the power to alert her of future disasters. That's why she was able to save a young girl from a peculiar car accident, and why she sees things others don't.
The first thing to note about this captivating fantasy is that it's liberally peppered with full-color (and well-done) illustrations that enhance its story line. From autos in the woods to strange mischievous beings, Fairalon is packed with visual interludes that enhance the story without taking it over completely. Middle-grade readers will thus appreciate the enhancements which create visual interest in Iris's adventures.
The second notable feature of Fairalon is an attention to supplementing a fantasy adventure feel with the realistic saga of a young girl's evolving perceptions of her powers, her world, and whom she can trust. Fueled by strong psychological insights and solid character development, it's a story young readers will empathize with as they read about Iris's unusual challenges.
Fairalon excels in a steady plot that offers several twists and turns and much insight on not just the origins of inherited traits, but choices in how power is wielded.
Middle school fantasy fans will be enthralled as Iris' world expands in unanticipated directions. It should be mentioned that its conclusion paves the way for more books, yet completes her story in a manner that is satisfying and exact, making for a fine introduction to what might become a series. An exciting blend of adventure, psychological insight, and beautiful illustrations make Fairalon a prime pick in its genre.
Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer
An effervescent middle-grade fantasy story about accepting oneself and others.
Eleven-year-old Iris has been through a lot. Her mother died when she was 6, which is when her “behaviors” began; she has a compulsive need to repeat actions three times, particularly when she’s stressed out, and the kids at school are merciless about it. Therapy and medication help her compulsion, but nothing stops her from apparently seeing things that aren’t there. When she sees a boy on a swing disappear into thin air, she wonders whether she’s losing her mind—or if the old swing could really be a portal to another world. Roberts’ debut novel adeptly conveys the language, frustrations, and spirit of a preteen girl with sensitivity and humor. However, the story builds slowly, particularly in its first part, which tends toward too much foreshadowing and explanation. After Iris enters Fairalon, almost halfway through the book, the adventure gets underway with Wonderland-worthy characters, including ninja fairies, Bebb the Butterfly Boy, and riddle-obsessed mountains. These creatures pass along subtle messages about self-acceptance: “You are normal for you; you are just different from the others.” Roberts emphasizes empathy by making “bad” characters behave sympathetically, and having “good” ones be tempted by the lure of power. However, many inner monologues are unnecessary and slow down the plot. Clunky illustrations also distract from the vibrant prose descriptions and occasionally spoil surprises. By the final chapters, however, everything clicks in a page-turning climax. Interestingly, Iris’ coping mechanisms don’t magically disappear during or after her adventures; instead, she gains an appreciation for her strengths and her flaws, and her new friends accept her for who she is, purple hair and all—with the book’s conclusion giving hints of a sequel.
An often satisfying novel for young readers that hits most of the right notes.
By Alana Blackey on January 28, 2016:
Format: Kindle Edition
A magical and whimsical adventure fit for the entire family! A little girl is suddenly thrust into a world that she believed only lived in imaginations. After years of feeling different and acting strangely she discovers the real reasons behind her uniqueness. After her grandmother's death she along with her father move into her house and then everything goes topsy turvy. Missing children, dolls that seem to come to life and portals to fairlands, her life is thrown into a literal fairytale. She must accept her heritage and fight to protect those around her from evil forces. A delightful story wrapped in a fantastic bow ! A fun read filled with all the elements needed to captivate and enchant young readers. I give this one two wands up !
Wonderful Story For Fantasy Fans - Young and Older Reader Alike!
By Terah Logan on February 1, 2016:
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is about an eleven year old girl named Iris and how she discovers that the things that make her different from other people, are not things to be ashamed of and hidden; but rather, understood just as her Grandmother – who Iris has much in common with – did. T. J. Roberts, is exceptionally skilled at telling this magical tale of this sweet and precocious young girl who is driven to be very brave, and explore deeply who she really is when a neighborhood boy goes missing; and despite Iris witnessing what happened to him – no one believes her.
Download this wonderful story that has all the classic elements of an epic fantasy the keeps the reader moving forward with many mystical twists and turns. The illustrations are colorful and are well-detailed works that add nicely to the story. Any fan of fantasy should download and read.. both young and older reader alike!