Book Review: Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims

Candlewax, by C. Bailey Sims, is a young adult fantasy novel. Catherine is sixteen years old, and a princess. When her father, the king, announces that she will marry the king of Candlewax Catherine is less than thrilled. She has never met the man and knows nothing about him, including his age. So, Catherine sets off into the woods, with some supplies and her grandmother's amulet, and goes in search of her future. Little did she know that her future involved an ancient prophesy, a fairier cat the size of a horse, and fighting evil. That cat is tightly tied to her country's very survival, but he is the last of his kind there. As they travel together to fulfill the prophesy and bring more fairier cats home, the meet a cast of characters that either help or hinder them as they race towards their fate. 

I am unsure how to begin with Candlewax. I enjoyed the story, so lets start there. Catherine is a plucky character that has a will and mind of her own. Cyril, the king of Candlewax, is a thoroughly good guy, but still comes off as realistic even though he is a little too perfect. The other characters, even some unimportant background characters, are also very well-defined. The book changes from a few different points of view, but this is done well and helps the reader understand the larger picture of what is happening.

The world building is really well done, including widely varied environments and people. I loved some of the world elements, like the burning trees in Candlewax. However, there were a couple of moments when I found myself checking the page count to see if I was at the end yet. Not because I was not enjoying the read, but because it felt like a very long read even though it was not. It seemed like there were a few viable points where things could have been wrapped up, but there was another fight or something else that needed to be done first. Then, there was the promise that more evil plots would be hatched. 

 I can recommend Candlewax to readers around eleven to fourteen, and older readers that enjoy epic fantasy. Readers that like battle scenes and creative world building will particularly enjoy the story. There is some violence, but very little in way of romantic contact, so there is not much to keep the younger set to pick this up. This was an enjoyable read, with some very promising elements.
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