Editorial Review: Mythatania by Nicholas Julius
Owen MacDonald and his sister Erin end up on the adventure of a lifetime after getting swallowed by the Loch Ness Monster and transported to the magical land of Mythatania.
Mythatania is a children’s novel aimed at readers between the ages of five and eighteen. Still, the story and characters are charming enough to entertain anyone who grew up loving fairytales. The opening chapter introduces readers to thirteen-year-old Owen and eleven-year-old Erin, who live in Scotland near Loch Ness. Their father operates a tour boat on Loch Ness while Erin helps by running the souvenir stand. It’s clear right from the get-go that magic will play a role in the story as Owen gets his hands on a very special book thanks to a peculiar mirror. The book is titled “Nogard Eci’s Tome of Mythical Creatures and Artifacts” and ends up being the cause of Owenn and Erin getting transported to the magical land of Mythatania.
Chapter two shifts to Mythatania, which is a valley surrounded by four mountain ranges and hidden by the Aurora Borealis. It is home to all manner of magical and mythical creatures, including Yeti, Gryphons, Unicorns, and many others. However, along with the good creatures, there are also some bad ones, with the worse of the lot being Moan the Minotaur. Before the arrival of Owen and Erin in Mythathania, the inhabitants were called upon to attend an emergency meeting to discuss what should be done about Moan. During this meeting, the sons and daughters of the Elders Council, dubbed “The Mythfitz” for their mischievous ways, sneak away for some fun. The group, which consists of a Unicorn, Pegasus, Yeti, and Sasquatch, encounters Erin and Owen. Since the portal back to their own world has disappeared, The Mythfitz decides to help the children find another way out of Mythatania. The resulting adventure sees the group attempting to retrieve a golden Unicorn horn along the way, decipher the mystery of Nogard Eci’s Tome, and get caught up in Moan’s scheming.
Mythatania is an entertaining novel with plenty of humor and a large cast of endearing characters. The thirteen chapters progress at a brisk pace, and there is rarely a dull moment in the adventure. As new mythical creatures are introduced in the book, readers can also flip to the end for a complete list of descriptions for each one, which is very handy. Older readers should be familiar with all the creatures in Mythatania, but younger ones will be delighted to discover new ones. However, the story remains fresh and engaging throughout despite using familiar creatures and fairytale tropes.
Overall, Mythatania is a wholesome and imaginative book that is great for the young and anyone with fond memories of the fairytale stories of their youth. The story deals with topics such as trust, friendship, and loyalty, but the characters are developed enough that it never feels preachy or overdone. While most of the story follows the Mythfitz and human children, there is also an epic battle sequence towards the end that shows the bravery of the other Mythatanians. With Mythatania, Nicholas Julius has crafted a wonderful modern-day fairytale with a setting and characters that readers will want to return to. Also, be sure to watch the multi-award-winning short film by the author on Youtube, as it is based on the opening of this novel.https://youtu.be/QIEcJAZOZA0).