5-stars for ‘Jai’s Vision,’ by Piaras O’ Cionnaoith
‘A rich and delightful fantasy’
Jai’s Vision, by Piaras O’ Cionnaoith, is a rich fantasy filled with heart, passion and sensitivity. The romance between Jai, a squire, and Amelie, a princess, of course, is sweet. The fantasy devices are carefully employed and fresh, and the mysteries are continuous making this an engaging page-turner.
As a fan of Arthurian Legend, Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory a book I’ve read yearly since childhood, there was little chance I would find this story anything but enjoyable.
And Piaras O’ Cionnaoith deserves tremendous credit for his effort; crafting a myth-based fantasy that will appeal to both young and not-so-young readers. I loved it.
Jai is a squire – one day to be a knight. He’s clever, resourceful and genuine; all the qualities one would expect of the hero in a fantasy tale. Princess Amelie is cultured and proper but admirably precocious; the perfect young lady to one day rule a kingdom.
But their world changes when Jai begins having visions of a door set in the middle of the forest where he and the princess ride.
From there, the author takes us on a fanciful journey to uncover what lies beyond the door which, I feel, also stands as a metaphor for the budding relationship between our two, wonderfully described and lovable protagonists.
What I liked most:
I love a good mystery and have often said, casually or in a class setting, that mystery drives story. Possibly as much, if not more, than conflict. Piaras O’ Cionnaoith presents compounding mysteries in this book that compels you to continue turning pages even when responsibilities call.
This was a book I had to read in one sitting.
O’ Cionnaoith’s characters are extremely well-developed. They possess weaknesses as well as strengths and change as the story progresses. Without change or growth, flaws and weaknesses, even in a fantasy tale, the characters can be two-dimensional and unreal.
We like flawed characters and rally for them as they change and grow from the decisions they’re forced to make and their interactions with other characters.
A clear through-line:
I read many books and often question why an author has forgotten a fundamental requirement of good storytelling. The presenting of a clear through-line; a hero or heroine who wants something and must conquer obstacles to get it.
It can be a magic sword, a romantic interest, or a quest to learn the truth about something elusive.
The author of Jai’s Vision handled this beautifully; never taking us away from the main story; the hero’s journey. There was never a moment in this book that I had to stop and ask myself: ‘Why am I in this scene?’ or ‘Why is this relevant to Jai’s quest?’
For this reason alone, Piaras O’ Cionnaoith has earned my praise as a writer and storyteller.
Rare, for me, I have none. This is a beautiful, well-written story I would recommend to anyone.
Summary and recommendation:
Jai’s Vision, by Piaras O’ Cionnaoith, is a sparkling story filled with meaningful themes and likable characters. The writing is crisp, the goals are clear, and the author is gifted with innumerable literary talents which he uses efficiently and effectively.
I give Jai’s Vision 5-stars and my highest recommendation for readers from seven to adult.
Review by: T. E. Mark – Writer / Screenwriter