Madame L read this book because a certain almost-12-year-old friend of hers recommended it to her, and she recommends it heartily for all her Dear Readers, even though it's written specifically for children in the third through eighth grades.
The 13-year-old hero, Jason Walker, is going through the usual 13-year-old school and girl worries when he falls (in a most fantastical way) into another world, Lyrian. In that world, most people have given up because an evil emperor has taken over, blinded the good king, and invited (forced) all would-be heroes and heroines to a castle where they feast or drug themselves to death.
But Jason, who doesn't think of himself as a hero, meets Rachel, who has also fallen into the world in a most fantastical way and who doesn't think of herself as a heroine, and the two of them begin some even more fantastical adventures.
Author Brandon Mull's world of Lyrian reminds Madame L of some of Stephen King's imaginary worlds, such as "The Talisman," but without Stephen King's frequent mentions of gross bodily functions and human sickness.
Mull is the author of "The Candy Shop War" and the "Fablehaven" books, none of which Madame L has read, but all of which she now wants to.
The second book of the Beyonders series, "Seeds of Rebellion," will be out in hardcover this week and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com for $9.98.