De Mari, Silvana 1953-
De Mari, Silvana 1953-
Born 1953, in Caserta, Italy.
Writer, novelist, psychotherapist, and physician. Psychotherapist in private practice. Worked as a surgeon in Italy and Ethiopia.
Best Children's Books of 2006, Kirkus Reviews, for The Last Dragon.
L'ultima stella a destra della luna, Salani, 2000.
The Last Dragon (published in Italian as L'Ultimo Orco), translated by Shaun Whiteside, Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 2004.
La Bestia y La Bella, Grupo Editorial Norma, 2005.
El Ultimo Elfo (title means "The Last Elf"), Grupo Editorial Norma, 2005.
Contributor of short stories to periodicals and magazines.
Silvana De Mari is a physician, psychotherapist, and surgeon who has worked in both Europe and Africa. De Mari is also the author of several novels, most with a lighthearted and heroic fantasy element. In The Last Dragon, kindhearted and gentle Yorsh is the last elf surviving in a harsh, cold, always rainy world where humans hate him simply because he is an elf. An encounter with a hot-tempered human woman, Sajra, turns out to be beneficial, however, as the woman's sympathy is aroused by the little elf's plight. The two decide to search for drier, more comfortable environment in which to live, and during their travels they meet a third companion, Monser, a hunter who joins their search. When they enter the human city of Daligar, they are captured and imprisoned. Facing death by hanging, they manage to escape, but not before Yorsh divines his destiny from some words on the wall, which state that when the land's last dragon and last elf come together, the world will be saved. Inspired by this message to begin a search for the last dragon, Yorsh and his companions take up the perilous quest. Meanwhile, in a concurrent story, the destiny of a young orphaned human girl develops and soon becomes intertwined in Yorsh's prophecy. Tragedy befalls the group of comrades, and Yorsh discovers that "prophecies are for people who don't want to control their own destiny," in the words of a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
De Mari "takes common fantasy elements and combines them in a unique way in this stirring, subtly post-apocalyptic fantasy," observed Anita L. Burkham in the Horn Book Magazine. "At times hilarious, at times poignant, and always entertaining," the story of Yorsh's determined quest "will grip young fantasy fans," commented Booklist reviewer Sally Estes. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews called the book a "wise, warmhearted fairytale." The story's "satisfying, poignant ending does not disappoint," remarked a Kliatt contributor. School Library Journal critic Sarah Couri concluded that "young fantasy fans will appreciate the many humorous touches and get caught up in this tale of strength and sacrifice."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 2006, Sally Estes, review of The Last Dragon, p. 53.
Horn Book Magazine, November-December, 2006, Anita L. Burkam, review of The Last Dragon, p. 707; January-February, 2007, review of The Last Dragon, p. 12.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of The Last Dragon, p. 1012.
Kliatt, November, 2006, review of The Last Dragon, p. 8.
Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2006, review of The Last Dragon, p. 64.
School Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Sarah Couri, review of The Last Dragon, p. 126.
Festivaletteratura Web site,http://www.festivaletteratura.it/ (April 24, 2007), biography of Silvana De Mari.