The Risen, the Chosen, and the Dark, by Jessica Lynn Campos, is a work of fantasy fiction based on the age-old struggle between good and evil. The Dark Ones are becoming more and more powerful. The wise and powerful centaurs, seeing the signs, are now pushing for an alliance between the free races of earth: the men, elves, centaurs, dragons, phoenixes, and pterippi.
Unfortunately a simple alliance is not enough to save them from the Dark Ones so an agreement is made that each creature will partner with a human of their choice, imbuing some of their qualities into that human. The men partnered to the phoenixes become Warriors, the vanguard of the free armies. The dragons give their partners magical qualities, and those make the Protectors, the rear guard of the attack on the Dark. The pterippi, which take the form of horses with wings, make guides out of their chosen human, the Scouts of the free armies. There is also a fourth group: the Healers. This group is made up of the humans without partners. This does not make them lesser in status to any of the previously mentioned groups. As you can probably guess, Healers have a natural talent for doctoring injuries, and the rest of the clans could not do without them.
About the time the alliance is made, Yoltae, the head centaur, reads signs in the stars, signs that tell of four children that will succeed in overthrowing the Dark Ones forever.
Four shall rise up: one Warrior, one Guide, one Healer, and one Protector. The Warrior shall come from the west, of noble blood; the Guide shall keep their paths true and gain support from the south; the Healer shall be knowledgeable and come already partnered before age; and the Protector shall be of partial blood of the Dark Ones' kind and be the one to kill the Dark Ruler. The Risen Four shall choose another four, one from each clan to accompany them. They then will put an end to the Dark Ones' reign.
So unwittingly, four children set the prophecy in motion when they are thrown together by chance. Nahgeyd, son of King Turon of Rosh, is partnered with Elixir, a golden phoenix. At the same time, Sapphire, a half elf, is partnered with Magenta, a pterippus. Then Tsayel, whose father left her when she was young, is partnered with Cerulean, a dragon. Then, while in Rosh Forest, the three of them meet Davar, a boy already learned in the arts of healing from living with the forest fairies. The four of them travel with several members of the four clans to the School of the Elders, and with them comes Saefer, Davar's guardian fairy.
While at the school, the four each learn how to defend themselves and the rest of mankind against the Dark Ones, and also meet four other students along the way, fulfilling the second part of the prophecy. As the book comes to a close, the eight become aware of the prophecy concerning them. As they leave the school, the blessing and respect of all the Elders goes with them. The story continues in book two: The Call of Destiny.
This book is a remarkable piece of literature, possessing almost everything that makes up a good piece of fiction. The character development is very well done. For all of the major characters, you can almost see what they look like, and know what they will do in any given situation.
The Risen, the Chosen, and the Dark is written with a mood similar to that of The Lord of the Rings, in that the book opens with a feeling of depression and helplessness as mankind is dwindling, and the Dark Ones are growing stronger. The book ends, however, on a much happier note: there is hope for men, and it takes the form of eight young children, who together are a force unstoppable.
Written on a seventh grade reading level, it will be enjoyed by children (and adults) ages thirteen and above. The
Risen, the Chosen, and the Dark is one of the best fantasy books written, and I will be waiting patiently for the second book in the series.