The Key to Skandos by William A. Prater


Three young teenagers stumble across a magical remote trigger installed centuries earlier by Zildus, a practicing and far-sighted sorcerer. A mysterious wall appears where none previously existed and something other than mere curiosity prompts a close-up examination, accidentally setting off a violent explosion which ruptures the barrier and sends all three hurtling into an alien, highly-dangerous world where skies are purple and vermilion forests endemic; home to a dreadful flying predator - not unlike the dragon of mythology - besides other, equally fearsome carnivores.

Two of their number return leaving one behind, prisoner of an enormously strong but beautiful woman possessed of extraordinary powers. The escapees vow to re-enter, sworn to rescue their companion regardless of danger, but are eventually to discover another, preordained and vitally important reason for their presence. How will they survive and will they somehow manage to fulfil their destiny and ultimately return home...?

This is a great children's book. Lots of magic and excitement, curiosity and adventure. It reads very much like you'd expect of a book of this type but there is a certain depth to it which, as a grown up reading it, I was pleased to discover. I could imagine The Key To Skandos as the type of book that may eventually make the move onto the large or small screen, possibly as an animated adventure, I think that would be pretty interesting to see. But for the time being I'll reread the book and then pass it along to my nephew.  -  George Elliott - review on Amazon

I just finished reading this and the first thing I wanted to do was write a review while it’s all still fresh in my head. Reading through William A. Prater’s bio on here it seems like he’s had a pretty mixed bag of experiences over the years, and he’s certainly mastered the art of transferring it all into his writing. The characters are brilliantly crafted and the dialogue and decisions they make are as believable as they are compelling. A “page-turner” and “couldn’t put it down” are clich├ęs that are thrown around all to often in the literary world, but this time I have to agree that they are right on the money. A real bag of tricks is this one, and it’s left me wanting to read more from the man himself. Come on, William, what do you have for us to devour next?  -  Drake Keegan - review on Amazon

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