Robin Ambrozic of Englewood wears several hats these days: author of a new series of young adult fantasy books, graduate student, substitute teacher …
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Robin Ambrozic of Englewood wears several hats these days:
author of a new series of young adult fantasy books, graduate
student, substitute teacher in Littleton and Douglas County Schools
and South Suburban Parks and Recreation golf course maintenance
He has also published short stories, including some that formed
the basis for his book and poetry.
“Piccolo, the Gray Robe,” the first in his projected five-book
series, is about a feisty girl, Piccolo, who has unusual natural
talents and wants to become an elite dragon mage. There is a
problem. Girls are not admitted to the Dragon School, Cor’inthor,
but instead are sent to become priestesses, an unacceptable
alternative for this magical young person.
The reader first meets her in a smoky tavern, where the
sympathetic owner Random coaches her. “Remember, dragon mages use
the power within to harness magic. Your will gives it substance…
Dragon magic is only as strong as the wielder-the stronger the
wielder’s will, the stronger the magic…” Interesting mix of tavern
owner and magical man.
Piccolo focuses on her glowing hand and a tiny golden dragon
appears— what an enchanting image for an imaginative reader! An
image that is smashed by the waitress, traditionalist Dorlee, who
disapproves of girls using magic.
Random encourages the gifted girl and she leaves her
grandfather’s home, riding on her whimsical white wolf, Snow, to
enter the school, a challenging world of difficult classes, games,
tests and fights, described in almost excessive detail so the
reader can really be there with her. She finds friends, but also
has enemies from the start, such as the evil-eyed Simian.
Her mentor, Theramar, helps her to see that she must retain
control of herself and not let hatred of Simian get to her— it’s
her problem if she’s angry at him.
Trials and battles follow as Piccolo makes her way through
school, is assigned to deliver a letter from Lady Viridiana to Lady
Cooperatoria, who lives in a cottage on the outskirts of Silver
Sands. On the way, with Snow and companions Ishmael and Vadell, she
fights against characters such as the Man in the Black Cape, who
attacks dragons and elemental Earth beings.
The author brings Piccolo’s journey to a good ending as she
seeks the light at the end of a tunnel, and the reader will wonder
what adventures await her in the next book, which Ambrozic hopes to
The author’s choice to write the story in present tense is a bit
distracting, but he is an accomplished storyteller who has
obviously spent many hours in a world of magic and dragons.
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