The Pilgrims by Will Elliott
1). HarperVoyager, 2010. ISBN 9780732289478.
(Ages: 15+) Eric and Case stumble onto a door to another world. The concept certainly isn't original, but the world into which they blunder is unique. The combination of young journalist, Eric, and elderly, homeless, alcoholic, Case, is also an unusual partnership, but one which works well. Levaal, the world Elliott has created, is one full of magic of various types, mages, giants, winged Invia, and a downtrodden population within the aligned cities.
Vous, the world's friend and lord, rules over the castle and the aligned cities using magic to keep himself immortal and his subjects compliant. He is also completely insane. He and the Arch Mage work together in an uneasy alliance to achieve domination of the few remaining independent cities. Into this world Eric and Case stumble and are swept away by various factions, most of the time having no knowledge of the reasons or background of the events which swirl around them.
Case is literally taken under the wing of the Invia and is given a necklace which among other things provides him with invisibility. He also comes to the notice of the Stranger, an enigmatic, powerful magician who seems to hover in the background and whose intentions are unclear. Elliott seems to be able to understand all the languages of Levaal, even the incomprehensible chat of the Groundsmen, but can give no explanation as to how this is so.
Both the unlikely heroes seem to have a charmed life. This is very evident in this world where life generally is held very cheaply, even by some of those the reader considers to be the good guys. Elliott ramps up the interest and the intrigue as the tale progresses and by the end of the book the reader is almost as exhausted as the protagonists. However, there are still a huge number of unanswered questions and riddles to be solved. There are still some major players we have yet to meet, such as the Dragon-youth, and some who remain enigmatic. It will be exciting when Elliott reveals where our heroes are to be taken next. The sex scenes probably make this book suitable for year 10 and above.