I’m very picky about the fantasies I read. While I was drawn to the beautiful cover of The Ballad of Titha Mae, I confess to a bit of hesitancy when it came to reading it. As I read the last page, I considered hitting myself in the head. This is a fantastic book. The story is not just a fantasy but a mythical epic that pulled me in from the first page and kept me up reading well past my bedtime.
Titha Mae is a night dwelling indigo colored character, a Luna. The smart use of the name of the night loving beings as “Luna” is the first hint this is not just a tossed together fairy tale. On the contrary, Jon B. Dalvy has created a fascinating environment and birthed colorful characters to inhabit the world. Along with her sisters and her father, Titha Mae enter a thrilling adventure. Like all good fairy tales, the story has a point. Titha Mae is a joyful, loving Luna who truly has a heart of gold. Her goal is to defeat a common enemy by uniting all the beings that live in Galea and she will do whatever it takes to accomplish that.
From the very beginning, Titha Mae’s love for her family and Luna traditions is evident. Even when she squabbles with her sister Gilly, she does it with laughter and care. When her younger sister BeeBee leads their father, Theole, to stop the bickering between the sisters, Titha is truly sorry she caused an uproar. Gilly is distressed because it is Festival of Dawn, in their home of Yythengrey and she misses their mother. It’s a painful time for the little family. And it soon to become even more painful when a time of joy is turned to a battle.
It is here where the adventure begins with a talking dragon, goblins, and ogres fighting against the peaceful creatures struggle to protect their home. By the time the First Eon ended I was invested in the characters and their adventures I hated to close the book. The saving grace is knowing there will be a sequel to this dramatic and heartwarming tale. Kudos to Jon B. Dalvy on a delightful first book that adults will enjoy as much as children will.
“Titha loves her father, Theole, with all her excitable heart. The two are indigo-skinned Lunas: a spritely people forbidden to leave the treehalls of Yythengrey. So when their once friendly Dawnfather, the twisted dragon Vulduun, desecrates their homeland and kidnaps Theole, no one is willing to risk saving him – except his daughter, Titha Mae. Such a brash gesture leads the little Luna and her Bear-brother, Paw, on a fantastical journey far beyond the only foliage-filled mountains she’s ever known.
Join Titha and her companions on their epic adventure in this timeless new fantasy – the first in an ongoing series appropriate for all ages. Middle grade and advancing readers who’ve enjoyed series like Harry Potter, Fablehaven, and Story Thieves are falling in love with Titha Mae and her quirky, vibrant world whilst taking in invaluable morals to todays world (inclusion, empathy, tolerance, and good ol’ fashioned kindness) – all wrapped within a brand new world ripe with its own rich mythology and eclectic characters.
Author Jon B. Dalvy crafted The Ballad of Titha Mae from his adventurous Appalachian youth, Celtic heritage, and love of mythology. Titha and her sisters’ adventures began as bedtime stories created for Dalvy’s younger siblings. The brothers having plenty of classical male heroes to choose from growing up, ‘The Ballad’ is dedicated to (and based upon) Jon’s three little sisters “and the light they hold”, in hopes of bringing more inspiring young heroines to the forefront of epic fantasy literature.
Ready for an adventure? We thought so!”
About Jon B. Dalvy