The Sylvalla Chronicles by A.J. Ponder

Title Quest
Author AJ Ponder
Format Softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-45107-3
Publication Date 09/2018

A.J. Ponder’s latest book, Quest is a quirky and original celebration of fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, Terry Pratchett and more.

Yes, it’s the rare postmodern fantasy designed for a family audience.


Sylvalla escapes Avondale castle, and the life of a princess, in search of the adventure she’s always wanted.

Once found, adventure bites back.

Fortunately Sylvalla is not alone – Unfortunately, her new-found companions are less than heroic. Jonathan would rather make money. Dirk would rather live a long and happy life. And at 150, Old Capro would rather stop gallivanting about and harangue unsuspecting wizard students about his glory days over a nice cup of tea.

Quest has everything, heroes, monsters, chases, escapes and a complete lack of true love.

Order your copy today at Rona Gallery or online.

Reviews for Quest

“Fantasy humor with a Pythonesque flair” – Guy Worthey, author of the Ace Carroway Series

“…this sure delivered. Reminiscent of The Princess Bride….”Felicity Murray , The Reader, Booksellers NZ blog

“Quest is for everyone who loves fantasy, adventure, humour, and something slightly different. It is a wonderful book, unlike any I have read before. I thoroughly recommend it.” – Denika Mead, Hooked on Books

“epic [with] dramatic escape scenes, devious plots, and a final show-down of David and Goliath proportions…Full of great characters and wonderful plot twists, Quest is a book you’ll want to pass around all the family.” – Lee Murray, SpecFicNZ


After the death of her father, Princess Sylvalla swears revenge. An oath the wizards Capro and Jonathan fear will unleash terrible power. Sylvalla has no time for their prophecies, she must take up the mantle of Queen and save Avondale- but first she must survive the coronation.

Princess Sylvalla has faced dragons and proven herself a hero—but her greatest trials are about to begin. Phetero, the king she accidentally kidnapped, is determined to have vengeance—and the threat of marriage to Prince Francis looms. Francis may be sweet, have proven he can draw swords from stones, and be the only prince in all the Seven Kingdoms who will have her, but Sylvalla’s not the marrying type.

Soon marriage is the least of Sylvalla’s problems as King Phetero’s grudge turns from war into something more sinister.

The prophecies are dire, but what help can they be against the ancient horror King Phetero plans to unleash?


“I’ve seen a thousand futures, a million deaths. Avondale will fall”

Sylvalla would rather fight dragons than deal with politics. But as the unexpected queen of two kingdoms, her newfound power is making the neighbouring kings nervous. One by one, the kings fall for Sir Arrant’s offers of power and the beguiling butterfly jewels he offers in exchange for their alliance.

Determined to save her kingdom, Sylvalla is willing to try anything, including diplomacy. Only there is little time, and her dying mother, Tishke, has an important warning, “The demons are here. They have your brother.”

Meanwhile, back in Bairnsley University, the wizard Jonathan and his father discover the evil Dothie has freed the Nameless Gods—gods that are determined to destroy the one person that stands in their way… 


They call her Witch Queen

They say she will destroy the Seven Kingdoms

They say she will destroy magic

With the Seven Kingdoms turned against her, can Sylvalla save Avondale? Can she save her people, her brother, or even herself, from the demons who would possess them all?