Silverglade: The Dream by Richard Grant | Reviewed by Mary Sue Daoud
Silverglade: The Dream is the first of homeschooling author Richard Grant’s seven-book saga of two best friends, Quasar and Nemo. Could the reappearance of Lord Hiram (to whom Nemo had refused to sell Silverglade, his land holdings) and his huge camp be the cause for the troubling disappearance of animals from their flocks? They visit Hiram, who assures them that he was there only to support King Triiton, the father of Hiram’s daughter’s assassinated bethrothed, battling traitors in his own kingdom. Shortly after Nemo and Quasar leave their new ally, they discover the cause of their troubles: a dragon. The second book opens with Nemo and Quasar sharing the news with their new friends, who fear that the dragon may be the reason for the continued successes of the enemy. Together, they set out to destroy the dragon.
This book will appeal to 8-10 year old boys in particular—the perfect audience to get caught up in the high adventure and suspense of the story and overlook the plot’s simplicity and occasional logistical improbabilities. Yet Nemo and Quasar and Hiram’s sons are examples of the best tradition of Christian fantasy heroes: courageous, loyal to each other, and willing to do the right thing no matter the cost. It is difficult not to get engrossed in the humor and brotherly love between Nemo and Quasar and Hiram’s sons, and Grant does a good job making the characters complement each other. As other reviewers have pointed out, there is a decided influence from Lewis and Tolkien. However, Grant wisely chose to model his characters on the Christian virtues that Lewis and Tolkien’s characters embody. The result is a wholesome, original piece of writing that any child will get excited about.
In addition, Richard Grant’s long years of service to the homeschooling community have aptly prepared him to write for homeschoolers. Not only did he and his wife start homeschooling their children in 1987, but they also have been running Advantage Preparatory Schools, a PSP, for over twenty years. In his own words, “I wrote the Silverglade, Goldenrod and Emeraldsea series to give parents wholesome, engaging and exciting literature which can be used to teach their children a love of reading by reading.” He succeeded!
:: Mary Sue Daoud just graduated with her degree in literature from Patrick Henry College, where she simultaneously worked as administrative assistant in the Communications Department at HSLDA. Her long term goals are to go to graduate school, get her Ph.D in modern and contemporary literature, and become a professor of literature. Until that far off day, however, she's delighted to continue working for HSLDA long distance, especially as a book reviewer. Mary Sue first began reviewing books during the two years at college she spent interning with World Magazine, which published a number of her reviews.