Review | Betwixters: Once Upon a Time by Laura Cantu

Betwixters: Once Upon a Time
by Laura C. Cantu

A mysterious forest near the cozy town of Herogate is more than what it seems. The Gnarled trees appear to breathe, gloomy storms follow you around, and prowling shadows come to life before your very eyes. The forest is guarded by a strange old man and creatures not of this world. Even the locals never set foot in the bewitched woodlands, and trespassers have a way of turning up dead.

When Noah Walters moves to town with his parents, his father makes Noah promise to never enter those woods; but fate has other plans.

Noah and his new best friends, Ethan and Skye, are chased into the woods by Grucker, a schoolyard bully, and their lives are changed forever. They are forced into the heart of the forest, where they discover a lost fairy who needs their help to find her way back home before it’s too late.

Join Noah and his friends on an epic adventure as they race against time and plunge headfirst into the unknown. They are challenged with secrets to keep, a dangerous mission to accomplish, and a test of courage that will bring them face-to-face with magical creatures they thought only existed in fairy tales.

I’ve always loved reading fairytales and fantasy stuffs. Faeries, angels and mythical creatures fascinate me. I love magic and all things fairy dust and sparkling. When I got my hands on Laura Cantu’s adventure-filled magical story, Betwixters, I knew I would love it until the end.

Noah and his friends Ethan and Skye had to endure a bully’s taunts and insults at school everyday. It was one thing to have to suffer from Grucker and his daily torments, it was another thing for the three friends who also had their parents’ situations to deal with.

One fateful day when they were escaping Grucker and his cronies, they chanced upon a tiny iridescent figure that made them believe about one thing – that fairies do exist! A hapless and hurt faerie was painstakingly fluttering before their very eyes but it was only a matter of time before they realize that it was dying and she needed to cross the portal to another realm in order to live. A portal that could only be found in the Dark Wood – the very same place that Noah’s father had forbidden them to venture into.

This has been a wonderful introduction to the Vathylite Realms, a tale that features elves, fae, chondours or demons and all kinds of magical beings imaginable. The story was beautifully written and the world created was enticingly described. It’s not just a fairytale like no other, it’s more like of a humantale in the eyes of the magical beings.

One thing that fascinated me about the story was how three kids developed a lasting friendship despite their difference in race, culture, tastes and interests. And they helped one another as they try to stand up against a bully in their school. It teaches readers the value of helping without asking for a reward and accepting/understanding someone’s ill behavior despite the hurt they endured from their oppressor. And how they gave out their hearts and care to someone or something who really needed their help. Oh, let’s not forget Madison, the pure-heart schnauzer who was also a very important part of the story.

This story not just tackles about friendship but also touches a sensitive issue about bullying and being truthful to families and caring for animals. There’s a lot of things to learn about and enjoy in this wonderful fairytale by Ms. Cantu. It’s a treasure trove of adventure, perfect for kids and teens and even adults. That’s why Betwixters: Once Upon A Time is a sure hit to me and my sons!

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