This story begins in modern Chicago then moves to fifth-century Transylvania.
The teenage protagonists, Glenda and Traveler, are sent by Theo, their sanctuary god, deep into the primeval forests of the Carpathian Mountains. They must locate then neutralize an ancient demi-god called a “fire beast”.
The two must also survive the daunting challenges of isolated fifth-century Transylvania. Rome is now in its final death throes and the hoof beats of Attila the Hun echo across Europe. Civilization and Pax Romana are distant memories.
Magic, wits, and youthful courage must combine to face the fire creature. Survival, much less winning, is up for grabs.
Information about the Book
Title: The Blighted Fortress (The Allies of Theo #2)
Author: David E. Dresner
Release Date: 7th November 2019
Page Count: 386
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Five Favorite Protagonist Things
There are two central protagonists, Glenda and Traveler. These teens share equal billing throughout The Allies of Theo series. I’ll present five favorites for each.
Before jumping to their profiles, there are a couple of related series comments. The series follows two interrelated plot lines.
First, it is an adventure story which uses magic, history, and a little science to create a backdrop. The series’ ongoing action theme is tied to a catlike god-being, Theo, who predates the Big Bang. Theo is pursued by a cosmic demigod intent on absorbing him for his knowledge.
The second plot line tracks the relationship that gradually develops between the two teens. Having recently been in a middle school classroom teaching math to 7th and 8th graders, these fictional teen relationships track well in today’s world.
The two protagonists are developed early on in Book One, The Discovered Sanctuary. Their personalities and their relationship continue to develop in Book Two, The Blighted Fortress. The following ‘favorites’ highlight who they are and what’s engaging about each.
1. Traveler is an alpha male, at least in his own mind. He’s well over six feet, athletic, and intelligent. He is a science and math geek despite his athleticism. Science has all the answers for him at the beginning of the series.
2. He likes to show off. He uses his science skills to humble ‘Big Bob’ the star football player during the magic show he presents to the whole high school.
3. While confident in many arenas, he is awkward regarding social behavior with modern girls. He conforms to an older generation of male courtesy, which backfires with Glenda. Trying to impress her, he pulls out her chair and gets chastised for the effort. Confused and embarrassed he mutters, “I’m being a gentleman, what did I do wrong?”
4. Traveler is playful. An early skill taught by the sentient books is the ability to disappear or ‘go stealth.’ He enjoys using stealth to surprise and startle the serious Glenda.
5. He is a warrior. He pictures himself as a knight or the early Roman Horatio, both prepared to stand alone against overwhelming odds.
1. Glenda is a tall, athletic (she beats Traveler running up a long museum staircase), and intelligent. She is a mature 17-year-old, red-haired Norwegian who presents a striking appearance. Traveler finds a frog appears in his throat when she comes in for their first shared dinner hosted by M.
2. She is confident — with good reason. She relies on no one and assumes leadership easily. While Traveler grew up in a stable household with terrific parents, Glenda has been raised in a Norwegian orphanage. She has had early responsibilities to help with housekeeping as well as tutoring younger children. She was challenged at an early age.
3. She initially finds Traveler shallow and immature. His various playful pranks are more annoying to her than humorous. She enjoys sophisticated shopping in downtown Chicago with Traveler’s very cool mother.
4. She is a dedicated student. The sentient books demand absolute commitment and she relishes the study challenge.
5. Her bravery matches Traveler. She can commit to actions that put her life directly at risk. She remains controlled in the face of danger and acts with self- assured focus.
David E. Dresner was born and raised in rural Ohio. He was an Eagle Scout and later high school president in both his junior and senior years. The social mores, the friendships, and the rivalries of his youth were character building and era defining and have stayed with him into adulthood. Dresner studied physics and mathematics at Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon, earning a B.S. and M.S, before training to become an actuary. Dresner enjoyed considerable professional success, working at major business consultancy firms at CEO and COO level before taking early retirement and starting a family. He has since dedicated himself to giving back to his community, supporting small businesses, churches and schools by developing their strategic plans, as well as tutoring children in core academic studies. Having travelled extensively and lived in France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, today David and his wife Nancy live in a rural part of Virginia, near Charlottesville. He is currently working on the fourth instalment of The Allies of Theo series; he will publish his third novel in 2020.