Landon, Dena 1978(?)–
Landon, Dena 1978(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1978. Education: Gordon College, B.A. (business administration), 1999.
CAREER: Dancer, writer, and teacher. Formerly worked in finance; Allegro School of Dance, Rochester, NY, dance teacher; participant in Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop.
Shapeshifter's Quest, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Canal Dancer and The Carver.
SIDELIGHTS: Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Dena Landon grew up dedicating much of her free time to her two major passions: writing and dance. In addition to working as a dance teacher and performer, Landon has also achieved success as a writer, publishing her novel Shapeshifter's Quest in 2005. In this debut fantasy, Landon depicts the adventures of Syanthe, an eighteen-year-old shape-shifter. Others of her race have been marked by the king in order to control their movements, and because she has been hidden and is not tattooed, Syanthe realizes that she alone has the ability to save her race from extinction. Able to transition between human and animal form, the young woman joins the ranks of a distinguished warrior fleet in the hopes of achieving her destiny and protecting her species as the king's corrupt reign causes the vitality of both the land and its people to wither and die.
"Despite an action-packed and highly detailed plot, Landon creates a quiet, spiritual tone, emphasizing Syanthe's physical and emotional connection to nature," commented Booklist reviewer Debbie Carton in a review of Shapeshifter's Quest. According to Carton, Landon entertains readers by creating a "plucky heroine" and a "richly imagined world where magic abounds," while a Kirkus Reviews critic deemed the author's fantasy fiction debut "beautifully written."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Horn Book, October 1, 2005, Debbie Carton, review of Shapeshifter's Quest, p. 49.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2005, review of Shapeshifter's Quest, p. 737.
School Library Journal, October, 2005, Lisa Marie Williams, review of Shapeshifter's Quest, p. 164.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2005, Amy Luedtke, review of Shapeshifter's Quest, p. 235.
Dena Landon Home Page, http://www.denalandon.com (October 30, 2005).