This fun and ultimately hopeful book takes the reader along familiar paths lined with faeries, gods and magic powers but introduces enough twists and new ideas to satisfy a jaded fantasy fan like myself. As the fair haired singer Johnny makes his way from the normal lows of a young man's life in a half-real half-mythical world to ultimate love and enlightenment on the other side of the green stone tower, the author manages nice bits of political satire, takes well-aimed jabs at religious intolerance, and even gives unique insights into the character and motivation behind the "evil" god of shadow. Near the end, the book takes a dive into metaphysical concepts, and in my opinion such a direction does not usually go so well for a story. However, in this case philosophical riffs about the nature of life, death, time, and space are well enough handled to preserve the reader's emotional attachment.
I wish that 4.5 stars was an option here, because that is what I would like to give this book. I found the pace good, the characters likable, and the story enjoyable. Although the plot ties up nicely at the end, there clearly is a sequel coming and I will be watching for it.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)