This was an interesting story for what it was--about 33pages. It lacked however a cohesiveness to its narrative. Markus drew us from Point A to Point B and onwards with very little fleshing out. Much of what we do learn about the world or Laoise is specifically told to us. We're told that Laoise repeatedly fails at her exams and this is her last chance, but she'd rather be running around outside. In one particular instance Bearach has a long monologue in regards to why he is beholden to Laoise's people.
There is a sense of disconnect throughout the story, as if Markus wrote this as a rough draft to what she wanted to have happen in the real novel. Bits of the overall story were intriguing--I would have liked to know more about the animosity between Laoise's people and Bearach's, or a clearer understanding as to why the Sage of Laoise's people think she is the best candidate for what amounts to a very important job.
The scene in the cave is also very short and I would have liked to know more. They're in, Bearach comes up with a plan, Laoise enacts the plan and they're out. It doesn't take more than five pages. The climax of the story should not take so little time. Also Laoise sudden declaration comes out of thin air--Bearach is a little more understandable, but Laoise? It must have been the head injury talking.
If Markus had given a little more time and word count to the story, I think this would have been super. However lack of plot development, world building, character development or character interaction distracted me from truly enjoying this story.
All her life, Laoise has longed for adventure and daydreamed her days away. But the time for dreaming is past. Deep in the bowels of the earth a dragon wakes and the fate of her people and the entire world now rests in Laoise’s hands. Can she and her guide, Bearach, complete their quest to the Underworld in time or will her first real adventure also be her last?