Book review: Atlantis Rose

Part of a series of reviews of works produced by TRU-housed publisher CiCAC Press

Erica Tippe, Contributor Ω

Atlantis Rose is one of four books that have been published by CiCAC Press, a small publishing firm housed in TRU's Old Main building.

Atlantis Rose is one of four books that have been published by CiCAC Press, a small publishing firm housed in TRU’s Old Main building.

Are you tired of suffering through those dry textbooks? Does your brain need an escape? How about a quick read that will whisk you away to the seas on an epic journey to find Atlantis?

Atlantis Rose, the first book in a projected five-book series by TRU science professor Lauchlan Fraser, is filled with excitement and adventure.

Fraser fuses together both fantasy and history to produce a book that is both fun and easy to read. Not wanting to write something that was too heavy or difficult for children (he wrote the book for his kids) he focused on creating an interesting story, so as you read it, don’t delve too deeply into its historical acuracy.

Set somewhere around the death of King George III is a story about a 12-year-old boy with dreams of travelling the world. Born to a cobbler, his life seems destined for the unfotunate fate of taking over the family business. But Jamie Heriod has no desire to craft shoes for the rest of his days. His father Jacob is determined to convince Jamie that his heart wants to stay close to home and do the same work as he does.

The Heriod family lives a comfortable life in London. Jacob works away making shoes and boots for various customers, while his wife Charlotte makes sure everyone is fed, and helps in the business while also taking care of the children: Jamie, Molly and the baby, Bee.

When King George III is pronounced dead and a power-hungry King Kenneth takes over, the family is forced to either send Jamie away to be trained as a soldier for the evil king, or to jump aboard a ship and sail away in search of a utopia.

The Heriod family chooses to escape from London and sail away with Captain Morse on the Blue Moon. They set sail with hundreds of others to find a better way of life. On the journey, Captain Morse asks Jamie to become his cabin boy. Jamie accepts (behind his parents’ backs) and quickly learns all he needs to know about sailing from the captain and imediately falls in love with the sea.

Weeks into their trip, a monstrous storm pummels the ship for days. Molly, who had become friends with a French stow-away named Pierre, runs off to find him in the storm and is followed by her protective brother. They hide away for the duration of the storm and when it ends so does their safe journey.

They are attacked by “the most feared pirate of the high seas, Kristoff Kross.” The ship is taken over, and Jamie, Molly and the stow-away Pierre escape on a life boat.

But I shouldn’t give the whole story away! Much more excitement follows, including an unexpected confession from Pierre that, in some ways, changes the whole tale.

Fraser was inspired to write because as a child, he grew up around books like Lord of the Rings, Swallows and Amazons. He also raises his children with books, reading to them and telling them stories over and over again. Finally he decided, “I can do this!” and went on to write Atlantis Rose for his children.

Fraser did a great job writing his first fantasy novel, and I am very excited to find out what happens next in this exciting, ongoing tale.

You can pick up the 200-page Atlantis Rose for $10.00 at either Ashok Mathur’s office (CiCAC Press) in Old Main OM1487, or Lauchlan Fraser’s office in Research Centre RC201, or download a PDF copy of the book at the cicacpress.wordpress.com. It can also be purchased at Amazon.ca.

Fraser is eager for feedback on his first fantasy novel and said he needs the inspiration to continue publishing the rest. He can be reached by email at lfraser@tru.ca.