The Carta Marina – Latin for ‘sea map’ – was drawn in 1527, but its fascination still lingers, even close to five hundred years later. With its bright colors and mythical oceanic creatures, the map is captivating. So much so, that it has inspired a new children’s story that evokes the adventures of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia, the Boxcar Children and the swashbuckling daring of Indiana Jones.
‘The Pendant Saga: Picaroons and Pembertons’ by author J.A. Knighted, holds many treasures within its pages. Not only will the book excite young readers with its electrifying fantasy and relatable characters, but parents will find lots to love too, with the exploration of sibling relationships and the carefully sketched portrayals of children with sensory issues.
“My daughter has autism,” says Knighted. “It’s important to me to give life to all sorts of characters, and in this book, although it’s subtle, two characters have sensory issues. My plan over the next books in the series is to develop this slowly, but still showing that these characters are on the spectrum. It’s vital that all children feel represented in literature. They should be able to see parts of themselves in these kids. They should feel as if the Pembertons are their friends – and they will!”
Sample Review: Picaroons and Pembertons is a fun read and has a great pace that will have you picking up the book and suddenly leave you hanging off that cliff on page 230 wanting more. It’s a fantastic blend of Neverland meets Narnia with fantastic children protagonists, pirates, magic, alternate history, time travel(ish), and a lore all to its own. If you like any of the above you’ll love this book. I love what J.A. Knight has done with Eylenda and can’t wait to see how she expands her universe and her characters in further installments. While it is definitely a series, it says a lot when a book can stand on its own without relying too much on setting up a sequel. While there are unanswered questions and things to make you coming back for more, I was impressed how J.A. Knight still kept this one a self-contained and compelling story. First and foremost, though, in my head, I loved the Pembertons. She gave each a time to shine and develop and I can’t wait to journey the waves of Eylenda and time with them again soon.