Like JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis before him, Taylor Brown mixes fantastical characters in a magical setting with profound underlying Christian themes for a wonderfully vivid experience. But unlike those classic authors, Brown incorporates a much more intriguing plot and the reader is invested in the plight of a talking tree-like creature among others, more so than with Hobbits or the kids who passed through the wardrobe.

rootless-paperback-coverRootless is primarily the story of Everett, a boy who, inspired by his new dying Arborigine friend, sets off on a journey to see all the forests of the Kingdom of Windfall. Along the way, they pick up fellow travelers who share in their adventures, their ambitions, and ultimately their intense fate. The other characters are just as important to the story as Everett and equally interesting, from his lovable sidekick to the annoying Munchkin to the mysterious magician girl to the inventive runaway princess.

The world that Brown has created is beautiful, awe inspiring, and often very clever—from the names of the various species and characters to the descriptions of the amazing trees. This is certainly a place that will fill a child and even some parents with wonder.

More importantly, however, are the several morals seamlessly infused throughout the story. The characters learn friendship, sacrifice, and a life’s purpose. Almost all young readers will identify with at least one of the struggles presented in Rootless. And while the book deals with heavy topics—such as our mortality—a cautious parent should feel confident in the content.

While this is Brown’s first novel, it is so rich and well thought out that the reader might mistake it for a polished classic and the worst part about it is that there aren’t more books in the series to read yet. Until there are, we have this gem to reread and relive.

Find out more from the book’s website: