Diadem was one of my favorite series as a kid. It was written by John Peel, and when I actively read them, there were six books in the series (though since the series was picked up again in 2007, there’s now twelve books). I’ve decided to get in touch with my inner 12-year-old (how old I was when they were first published), and re-read the six books that I do have on hand in my collection. The first book in the series is called Book of Names, and it sets up the story while adding in a little suspense and adventure.
The main character of the book are preteens named (or nicknamed, rather) Score, Renald, and Pixel. Each of the three come from vastly different worlds with one thing in common, these worlds are on the outer ring of the Diadem—a place where magic hardly exists. One of these worlds is earth, home of Score. Score is a street-smart orphan. Renald is a girl disguising herself as a boy so that she can train as a fighter, and Pixel is a boy from a world built on virtual reality. All three kids are “rescued” from their home worlds and thrown into a world of magic and mystery. They are eventually delivered to Aranak, a wizard who resides on the world of Treen. Aranak begins their lessons which transform them into magic users.
Though I’m re-reading these books with a sense of nostalgia, I can’t help but notice how fun they still are. Sure, the writing is simple and the dialogue is a bit jilted, but the story is still entertaining and unique. I would highly recommend them for any 9-12 year old who likes science fiction or fantasy, or even older kids/adults who are just looking for a fast, charming exploit into a new sci-fi/fantasy universe.