by Raewyn Dawson
There is a certain utopian appeal to a community that lives by a code called the Peace Way.
Despite my cynicism about the possibility of a world (especially now) living according to such a code I admired the author’s optimism and the way her characters espoused their belief in living according to the Peace Way.
However, it is clear that maintaining the Peace Way comes at a cost and that is to use ‘outstanding fighting skills'.
This is a Young Adult novel and the story line engaged me from the start. The baddies got what they had coming to them and the protagonist, with her band of dedicated followers, showed that good can win over evil.
There is a certain irony that within a few pages of starting this book I encountered a graphic battle between the followers of the Peace Way and some bandits. As the novel unfolds it becomes abundantly clear that this Amazon tribe of young women are skilled and ferocious fighters. The Peace Way has to be mercilessly fought for.
But then they take up good causes and find ingenious ways to solve problems. It would be a spoiler to give too much away about some of the challenges they encountered and resolved.
The story moves along at a great pace in a world run by young people. I thoroughly enjoyed its energy and its optimism.
And I don’t know how anyone could write about a utopian world without it being set against dystopia as a backdrop. Otherwise how do we know good without being able to compare it to evil? Two characters in particular epitomise this juxtaposition – the evil doers Mithrida and Nigel. Although banished to an island they still cast a menacing shadow over the people of the Plains.
Good versus evil is the underlying theme of ‘Child Power’ and Raewyn Dawson takes the reader on a journey in a world that is cast from the imagination with reference to some Greek History which makes the Amazon story authentic.
In the shadowy world of evil the characters are hazy and ghostlike. In the world of good, characters are sharply cast and we warm to them. The victims of evil also suffer and the young people whose mission is to save the hapless victims find an ingenious way to carry out their mission.
Quite how a writer would deal with a community living the Peace Way without them having to overcome evil with violence I don’t know. I wonder if that dilemma ever troubled the author. It would seem not, because I feel sure that the next book in the Amazon series will also have the heroines conquering anti-heroes.
It is a super book and I can imagine a young reader, especially a young girl, devouring every word.
CEO, Stylefit (formerly The Story Mint) http://www.thestorymint.com
Author: Raewyn Dawson
Publisher: Mary Egan Publishing