A likeable fast-paced adventure, Kyra Johnson
30 March, 2021
In S.R. Manssen’s Medar, Freya is a young girl who is half-blind and lives in a poor area of the land of Medar. Freya finds a curious tablet which tells her about something she never thought was possible – a land and life beyond The Wall, along with freedom from the wicked Master who controls Medar. On the same day, Freya’s family finds out they have been chosen to live in the Golden City, which is ruled by the Master. However, Freya isn’t able to go to the city with her family, and is condemned to death by the Guards. Thankfully, she is saved from her doom by someone who is invisible; a Watcher.
Freya’s life changes in the next several weeks as she discovers parts of herself and Medar she never knew about. She encounters several people who help her along the way, while her family in the Golden City try to find out where she is. Freya and her companions are chased by Guards for days and days, trekking through the land of Medar as they work towards their goal of finding the clues, the key to finding the life of freedom beyond The Wall.
From reading Medar, I have an idea of what message the author is trying to put out into the world. I think this book was about working together with friends and family, along with trusting one another. It is important to do this – otherwise we cannot have secure relationships with others.
My favourite main character was Freya, and I could easily relate to her because she is around my age. I think I also related well to her because she likes adventure. My favourite supporting character was Leena, who is Freya’s family’s neighbours in the Golden City. ‘The people seem to be very nice,’ is what Martha (Freya’s mother) said when she first met Leena, her husband and their son. To me, Leena is depicted as a very kind and generous person, who helps Freya’s family try and find her, even when it is a very dangerous thing to do in the society such as the Golden City, where Guards are everywhere. She can also relate to Freya’s family because she experienced loss. I think all of the characters were described quite well physically, but I almost feel like there should have been more of a mental description of some of the other characters (not Freya, as she is well described in this way).
The one thing which stood out to me the most in this book was the pace at which it was written. I am used to reading very slow-paced books, where there is usually only one or two days in a chapter. But in Medar, most of the chapters – which are a good length for me – had three to five days in one chapter, but they were often split into sections with a chapter break. I’m not entirely sure if I liked the pace of the book, but I believe in some places the pace was well suited to the chapter or bit in the book. I liked how there was a title for each chapter, because it gives you a subtle hint as to what is going to happen in it, and it also makes me want to keep reading!
Overall, I enjoyed reading Medar, as the author’s aim and message was clear and the characters were likeable. I give this book 3.5/5 stars. I would recommend reading it, and I look forward to reading the second book in the trilogy.
- Kyra Johnson lives in Greymouth.