55327_girl-writing_mdThis novella was published by Castalia House.

Middle-aged Tommy comes home from the pub where he has celebrated a promotion that will mean he has to leave Brighton and move to London. When he gets home, he encounters Tybalt, a black cat that he remembers from childhood. Tybalt gives Tommy a silver key and tells him he is needed again to fight the forces of evil. Tommy makes the decision to do this and sets out to find the playmates that went with him on those childhood adventures to mystical lands. Richard has gone over to the dark. Sally is afraid to leave her house, but gives him a shard of magic mirror. Penny is dead, but has left him a magical book and a letter on how to use it. Armed with these and accompanied by Tybalt, he sets of for Somerset to steal the Sword Reforged from the local museum. Tommy gains the sword and sacrifices Tybalt. The sword ignites and he banishes the Knight of Shadows. Tybalt comes to him reincarnated as a magnificent lion and tells him he is the newly anointed Wise Old Man. Tommy uses the book to open a gateway and leaves for distant worlds.

This feels derivative. The sacrifice and rebirth of Tybalt come right out of Chronicles of Narnia. Wright is very facile with archetypes, but maybe too much so. There are just too many of them here. The way they’re tossed around feels shallow, and most of the action takes place off stage. Also, the author mixes Christian and pagan figures in a way that doesn’t quite make sense to me. On the positive side, it’s a smooth, easy read, well-written and interesting. It has something to say about the importance of dreams and how people need them as they get older, too. Two and a half stars.