YA Review – The Sylvan Horn – young adult fantasy

Redinger, Robert. The Sylvan Horn. 2008.
The Sylvan Chord book 1

 The Sylvan Horn, is a coming-of-age epic adventure. The book won a 1st place Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Book Contest, a second place Runner-Up Award in the Los Angeles Book Festival, and a nomination for a Montaigne Medal for Most Thought Provoking Book in the Eric Hoffer Book Contest.


Before the days of men, there were elves. In a time they were great and powerful, the first dwellers, the brightest ray of dawn upon the earth. They brought light and music to the world and every breeze that stirs and wave that crashes still echoes with the wonder of the fair folk.
But a foulness is brewing in the east, where men deal in sorcery. They summon dire forces, unleashing a terrible power into the world. And the elves, once immortal, now fade from the earth. But knowing that all sorcery comes from Runes that were carved ages ago, Efkin, a young elf lord, races to find and destroy the hidden Runes before all is lost. He sets out to recover the horn of his ancestors that long ago summoned the forces that shaped the world Only the horn has the power to break the Runes. He journeys into the east, but comes too close to the heart of sorcery and does not dare blow the horn. If he is tainted by the poison of the Runes the horn will sound a ruinous note that could spell the end of the earth.

Purchase The Sylvan Horn on Amazon

My Review

Robert Redinger is a new-to-me author. I am always interested in finding new fantasy authors as that is a genre my children introduced me to. Unfortunately I was disappointed by The Sylvan Horn. I felt it took way too long to build the fantasy world. 

When I was a teacher and later when I was a librarian, I encouraged students to read 10% of a book before “giving up on it.” At the 40% mark I still wasn’t sure what was going on in the plot. By the 70% mark I was beginning to understand the plot but most readers are not going to hang on for 70% of a book until they figure out what is going on. 

There are many different mythical creatures and quite a few characters. I had a hard time keeping them all straight. Something that might have helped would have been a glossary of all the mythical creatures or a listing of the characters and their role in the story.  It also seemed like there was a new setting every chapter or two which made it hard to follow. 

The book has won awards so obviously there is an audience that enjoyed the book – I’m just not part of that audience.

There is a heavy evil presence in the book so Christian school librarians will want to read the book before adding it to their collection. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Sylvan Horn. This is my honest review. 

About the Author- Robert Redinger

Born in New York City, award-winning author Robert Redinger studied theater and film at Hunter College where he received the Bill Sherwood Award for Most Promising Filmmaker. He has been a student of mythology for most of his life. His fascination with trees and the creatures of the wood have led to the creation of his sylvan heroes. His first novel, The Sylvan Horn, is a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner. He is currently writing Sword of the Sylph: Book Two of The Sylvan Chord.

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