The fantasy stars a 14-year-old Filipino Canadian hockey player named Duncan James MacDonald, known to his friends and family as DJ. For almost a year, DJ has been tormented by vivid visions of strange creatures and places, distracting him from his high school studies and hockey games. An incident at a school Halloween party sets off the chain of strange events that would take him on an incredible journey.
An apparition from the spirit world leads DJ to a magic book that contains ancient and present knowledge, empowers him with the capability to fly and helps him in times of trouble.
When he returns to his roots in The Philippines, where family members converge from all over the world for a reunion, a family secret is revealed: they are all Shaman warriors belonging to a clan called Malipayon. DJ discovers that the source of his disturbing visions is a prisoner being held in chains by fierce monsters from the underworld in the deepest ocean chasm. The dying prisoner has been sending him messages through mental telepathy. Since DJ seems to be the focus of the prisoner's plea for help, it is determined that he should lead the Malipayon warriors on their mission to rescue him.
The rescue mission includes a quest for the healing pearl in the undersea Reefdom of the Coral Palace. With the aid of the magic book, DJ leads the clan on a trek to the summit of an island volcano where they must overcome deadly perils to acquire a special crystal key in the throat of the volcano. The key unlocks the gates to the Reefdom of Kamut Hari who guards the sacred candles of Sulu Sea which are required to illuminate their way through the darkest depths of the ocean chasm called The Beyond where the prisoner is being held.
The gripping tension as DJ leads the clan on a life-threatening journey to the chasm of The Beyond in the Underworld and exciting interaction between characters from our world and creatures of the Reefdoms of the Undersea world are lightened by comic relief. Faith, honor, and magic are put to the test as the warriors overcome many challenging obstacles and battle fierce predators in a race against time to complete their mission. Ultimately, the triumphant Malipayon warriors crown DJ the Shaman Prince, and their new leader.
Likable main character: a young Filipino Canadian hockey player
Intriguing magical power of a flying book
Supernatural and telepathic powers
Tension, suspense and comic relief
A unique and pressing problem
Mystical bull-eagle creature from another world
Monstrous sea ogres in the underworld
A touch of romance in a gripping action tale
Interesting mix of characters from around the world.
A fantasy of shamanism set against the reality of life
Authentic venues: Guelph, Ontario, Canada and El-Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Empowering Filipino women
Boys and girls 11 years old and up
Fantasy fiction adventure young adult readers
Hockey fans worldwide
Asians in North America and abroad
American, Canadian, Filipino, German youth
Harry Potter followers
Universal Appeal of the book:
Underlying the exciting action plot of the story is the subtle message of tolerance and
acceptance of other cultures and people from other countries. DJ's mother is the eldest of twelve siblings who have each married someone from another country in which most of them now reside with young families of their own. As they all converge in the Philippines for the family reunion, DJ and Hanna (from Canada) unite with their cousins from The United States, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Jordan, Greece, Spain, Kenya, China, France, and the Philippines in a common honorable cause. This ethnic diversity is particularly relevant in Canada and The United States who pride themselves on their acceptance of others and welcome newcomers to their shores.
UNESCO's Declaration of Principles on Tolerance defines tolerance as "respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference."
The author, Corie Laraya-Coutts, is from The Philippines. Her husband, Rod, has Scottish ancestors. The co-author/illustrator, Hanne Lore Koehler, is from Germany with ancestors from France. Her husband, Stephan, also born in Germany, has Yugoslavian and Romanian ancestors.
Hanne: "This is such an unlikely partnership that, a generation or two ago, would certainly not have taken place. We are all Canadians. Corie and I have enjoyed working with each other immensely and have learned a lot about each other and ourselves in the process."
Ten percent of the proceeds of this book's revenue will be donated to C. Laraya-Coutts Foundations and Trust which support a number of worthy causes, including:
<!--[endif]--> Support for the Educational Program for New Immigrants in Canada.
<!--[if !supportLists]--><!--[endif]-->Support for the Preservation of the Indigenous Community and its People in Mindanao, Philippines.