Aidan lives a simple life with his grandmother in the remote village of Oren. He spends peaceful and carefree days with his closest friends Lilly and McKenzie. His pet falcon provides companionship and comic relief. Things couldn't be more perfect. But as his thirteenth birthday approaches, the night brings odd dreams of a beautiful winged horse urging him to "awake."
Aidan is just confused, but his grandmother recognizes this dream for the prophecy it is. Far from the village of Oren a war brews, and legends tell of a "a child...of thirteen years./ A child of fire, of Oren pride" who will end the dark threat. With his friends by his side, Aidan must set off in search of the wisdom of the elves and fulfill his destiny.
Aidan of Oren is an enchanting fantasy that sets the stage for an epic struggle. The book is suitable for either a family/classroom read-aloud or as a chapter book for late elementary readers. Each chapter makes for a good stand-alone tale, but be warned that most readers won't be satisfied with reading/hearing "just" one chapter.
Pen and ink illustrations bring life to the characters and complement the story nicely. There is an interesting variety to the pictures, with some showing full-page depictions of the action while others highlight a single key object.
In fact, the only complaint that I can lodge against the book is that it ends in the middle of the journey with questions still unanswered and no sequel in sight. The Journey Begins is an intriguing beginning to what I hope will become a long-running and successful series.