Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Taking a Trip on "The Road to Nyn"

I've got a charming little fantasy adventure to share with you today.  From nine to ninety-nine, it's sure to offer entertainment to keep those young ones reading between the pages of a social studies textbook.  Join me as we explore Brian G. Michaud's young adult fantasy The Road to Nyn.

Book Blurb:
In a land where magic is outlawed, a young boy is living a double life. Although Kay is training to be a knight, he has been secretly studying the forbidden ways of magic with Alamin, a powerful but eccentric wizard. When a band of goblins raids his village and enslaves his family and friends, Kay embarks on an adventure that takes him across the Kingdom of Gaspar and into the dark and treacherous caves of the Goblin Realm. What Kay doesn’t realize is that his journey is leading him on a collision course with the Lord of Nyn – a being so powerful that none dare face him...not even Alamin himself!

My Review:
As I said before, The Road to Nyn is a charming quest adventure with a sense along the lines of Lord of the Rings with just a smidge of the movie A Knight's Tale thrown in for good measure.

We open with young Kay competing in the midst of the Squire Trials as he attempts to become the first page in living memory to become a squire - at least the first commoner to accomplish such a feat.  Squires typically come from the privileged class because it is they who move up the ranks to knighthood.  Such an opportunity most only dream of, but Kay lives it and relishes how consideration of a title will elevate his family.

But Kay holds a secret that, if revealed, could destroy everything he holds dear.  Magic has been outlawed in the Kingdom of Gaspar, and while Kay has been openly competing for a position as a squire, he's also been learning the ways of Alamin, the wizard.  He must give up such association if he is to realize his dream of becoming a knight.

Before he decides, Kay's village is attacked and his family enslaved by goblins.  Thus begins the journey to locate his family before they are taken into the bowels of the Goblin Realm, where no man has made it out alive.  Along with Alamin, his trusty dog, Strapper, and a host of new friends along the way, Kay must cross the Bridge of Bones into the land of Nyn and rescue his family before it is too late.

This really is a cute coming-of-age story and is written in line with older grade schoolers to middle schoolers in mind.  There's nothing objectionable, though some younger children might find the Bridge of Bones and the Goblin Realm a bit scary.  Felix, the woodland sprite, is the needed dose of humor to keep the story from becoming too heavy.

My favorite parts centered around where Alamin tricks the witch when leaving the swamps (that's all I'll say) and near the end when...hmmm, can't really say this because then it would give the story away.  

Editing was clean, with only a few jumps in point-of-view within a scene.  The story unfolded in real time, which kept telling to a minimum.  The length felt just right, with enough closure at the end for this to be a complete book, though a few loose ends will likely lead into Kay's next adventure - which I wouldn't mind continuing.

Yes, you'll see comparisons to Lord of the Rings, but this will offer the young ones someone to relate to, something they can sink their teeth into as they work their way up the literary food chain.  There's nothing objectionable here.  For those of us who aren't so young anymore, let go of comparisons and enjoy something refreshing to instill that spirit of adventure we all possessed when we were kids.

For entertainment value and fairly clean copy, The Lord of Nyn is worth a good four and a-half stars in my book.

Pick up a copy by clicking on Amazon.

Author Bio:
Brian G. Michaud is the author of the young adult fantasy The Road to Nyn, the first book in The Tales of
Gaspar series. Although a musician and music teacher by day, reading and writing have been Brian’s passion since childhood.

The story behind the writing of The Road to Nyn goes back to a cold February night in 1992 in the Berklee College of Music dorms. Having run out of books to read, Brian sat down and decided to write what he thought would be a short story based around a young squire that he named after King Arthur’s brother, Kay. The tale came to him as if out of nowhere, and he found that he had written twelve pages at the end of the first night.

Looking over what he wrote, Brian was surprised to see that what he had in his hands was not a short story but something that resembled the first chapter of a book. Eager to find out what happened next, Brian began to make writing his nightly ritual. Within months, the story grew to over 200 pages, written in various notebooks.

Though he never forgot about his story, he had to put it aside for other obligations. He began commuting to school to help care for an aging grandparent, and then he began student teaching which was followed by his first teaching job. Later came a Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut and then a Doctorate from Boston University. Still, the unfinished story was not forgotten. After many years of picking the manuscript up and being forced to put it down, Brian finally published The Road to Nyn in November 2013.

Growing up as an ardent fan of the classics, fantasy, and mysteries, Brian had been rarely found without a book in his hand. Now, he is rarely found without a notebook or computer nearby to put down his latest ideas. The sequel to The Road to Nyn, with the working title of The Ring of Carnac, is more than half complete. Brian expects a projected release of November 2014.


  1. Hello D,
    Thank you for your wonderful review of The Road to Nyn. It's funny that you mentioned the 9-99 age bracket, because that's what I usually tell people when they ask me if they would enjoy the book.
    Also, thank you for pointing out that there is no objectionable material. I feel that it is important to be able to entertain and not have to resort to gore or what my mother used to refer to as "toilet humor." Billy Cosby has always been my favorite comedian because he could leave a crowd in stitches due to the substance of his humor and the stories behind it rather than relying on foul language to get his point across. I tried to emulate that same spirit in my writing – especially the humorous parts with my little buddy Felix.
    Thanks again, and I hope to be able to return sometime in the near future with the sequel, The Ring of Carnac. This one didn’t take 20 years!
    Brian Michaud

    1. Thanks again, Brian. Bill Cosby was always so great with his family-friendly comedy - I think the only one who offered a clean joke for many years. I still remember the "Dad is great - give us a chocolate cake" routine. And yes, you are welcome back with The Ring of Carnac when it's available. I look forward to reading it!