Water Sight
Wood Dragon Books / 4 August 2021

Last of the Gifted, Book Two: Water Sightby Marie PowellPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Allison Kydd$18.99; ISBN 978-1-989078-29-7 (softcover) Those encountering the world of a Marie Powell fantasy for the first time with Last of the Gifted, Book Two: Water Sight will be impressed by her confident storytelling and vivid characterizations, especially because she combines history and fantasy. The historical setting is 1283, near the end of the second Welsh uprising against Edward Longshanks, the King of England at the time. The fantasy portion involves supernatural abilities, as the title suggests. Apparently the Last of the Gifted series was inspired by Powell’s visit to Wales in search of her own family story. She doesn’t tell that story this time, but she has done her research, uses the historical backdrop effectively and incorporates local myths and legends where she can. She also takes the time to provide authentic spellings and pronunciation, whether the names are those of people or castles. Serials are a popular novel form, especially for juvenile and young adult readers. However, the form is not without its challenges, since the author must find the balance between enough backstory and more than enough. Those who have read Spirit…

Spirit Sight
Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021

Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book Oneby Marie PowellPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$18.99   ISBN 9-781989-078280 I’m grateful that Regina writer Marie Powell provided a map (Wales, 1282), glossary, and character list with her galloping new young adult fantasy, Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book One, because as one who doesn’t naturally gravitate toward the oft complex fantasy genre, these guideposts were helpful. Powell’s a veteran writer – see her complete library of books at mariepowell.ca – with more than forty books published, and she’s clearly not lacking one iota in inspiration. She explains that this particular novel series – the characters return in Last of the Gifted: Water Sight, Book Two – was inspired by her “adventures in castle-hopping across North Wales to explore her family roots” in 2006. The amount of research required to write a book of this complexity is impressive, and the writing’s made even more interesting as Powell fused fact and fiction: she based the story on the real-life Welsh prince, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (d. 1282), his French wife Elinor – who was held captive by England’s King Edward for three years – and the fictional characters of supernaturally-gifted…