Neffatira's First Challenge
December 15, 2019
Fourteen-year-old Neffie has it bad. She’s freakishly tall, and dark-skinned with pink freckles. Worse, she is the only mixed-race girl in her all-white small-town Iowa high school. Just when she can’t imagine her life getting any worse, a mysterious grandfather appears with the shocking news that Neffie is actually of dual worlds, and there’s no way she belongs in Iowa. Soon Neffie is bending across the Tymes to face her new life on the feudal world of Fastness, where rival blood-clans are vying for power and skilled noblewomen act as Champions, fighting elaborate duels for honor, prestige, and prizes. Forget about being in the right school clique or winning popularity. On her newly adopted world, a deadly civil war is looming and both sides want Neffie either with them or permanently out of their way.
A fascinating fantasy novel that impresses the reader of all ages.
The novel deals with fundamental themes of contemporary society in a captivating way. At the same time, along the narration, it's easy to discover the classic archetypal figures and the theme of travel. They are particularly important topics to accompany boys and girls towards growth.
It's an all-female story. It's not easy for a male writer to identify a female protagonist, but Tom Xavier manages it in a wonderful way. He paints her beautifully both, in her character traits and in her inner strength.
The theme of diversity emerges. Initially, this diversity is a big problem for the girl in her school society, but her differences become a great wealth to her once moved to different contexts.