“The Long Dark Cloak” by Vicki D. Thomas

Fabulous story about a boy, his two mischievous beagles, and his cantankerous horse. This is a young adult novel and the first of a series called “Relics”. It is well written, filled with imagination and easy to read.

Story line: (Contains spoilers).

A young, passive boy, bullied in school, and living alone due to the death of his parents and his brother being off to war, learns his brother was seen in a mystical forest. The boy asks a friend to watch after his farm, gathers his horse and two puppies and takes off for the forest to find his brother.

What he finds instead is danger. He happens upon a talking tree that has been axed with a poisonous tip. The dying tree asks for the boys help getting a curing sap and outfits the boy with a “Relic”.

The boys journey to get the sap is met my evil serpents, trolls and other deterrents. His passive nature changes as those he cares about become endangered. It is an exciting journey filled with mystical beasts, magical fauna, and a beautiful girl.

Good read.