"Wow, what a great vacation I had. That place was so much fun, I'll never forget it. I'd love to go back there… someday." How many of us have said that? And how many of us have, over time, forgotten what a great time we had in such a wonderful place? It seems that Ivy Peterson has that problem. She was only eleven when she first visited Zandria and now, three years later, in the midst of a bad morning, she remembers how much she loved being there… instead of here.
Ivy Peterson had the opportunity of saving the land of Zandria years ago. Now, on a morning of trials in her own world, a bad night's sleep because of her baby brother, feeling forgotten by her mother because of the baby, late for school, and knocking things over in her rush, she comes across a reminder of her honorary citizenship in the magical land. How much she'd like to leave this world behind and make her way back to Zandria.
In less than twelve hours of making that wish, Ivy, along with her best friend Lori, find themselves standing in the forest at the edge of Ivy's back yard, facing the ancient magical door to a new adventure. The once beautiful land of Zandria is now a snow covered, freezing world of misery. The Empress is so downhearted that the land mirrors her depression in the form of a yearlong winter. Kaia, the fairy, has come to beg Ivy to once again save their land by helping to find the kidnapped princess, the daughter of the Empress, who has been whisked away by the evil Lord Drake, the next in line for the throne.
Return to Zandria is a lively story that is light and frothy in the telling. It has enough meat to the story to hold the interest of adults as well as the younger reader. I thoroughly enjoyed following Ivy through her flight on the back of a winged horse and a dragon, witnessing her budding love for Conner, the aspiring wizard, and her attempts to convince her friend, Lori, that all this is real. Lori remains unconvinced, even though she is living the adventure along with Ivy and that makes for an interesting side story.
I'd like to see at least one more installment in this series that follows the relationship of Ivy and Conner. I will be seeking out the first installment, Talisman of Zandria to see where this adventure began and, like Ivy, hope it will never end.
Reviewed By MargeAnna Conrad
© July 2007