Forest Friends and the Three Dragons
by Karel Hlobil

Edition: hardcover

Ardith Publishing 2010


This review is from: Celina Cuadro

In Forest Friends and the Three Dragons Karel Hlobil hopes to inspire children to have an imaginative inner life, care for the natural world, live harmoniously together, and always strive for good. He started these inspirational messages in Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon, and continues the adventures of Michael, Alex, and Kevin in this second enchanting tale. I picked up this book knowing it was the second in the Forest Friends series, and was glad to find out that it stands alone well---Hlobil is generous in providing background for previous events and characters. By the first chapter I learned about the past ordeals of King Charles's Kingdom, I learned how three brothers and their forest friends saved the kingdom from the dreaded Dragon Drak, and I wanted to find out if poor King Charles would ever see his three dear daughters again.

Princess Daisy, Princess Lola, and Princess Kody disappeared one year before Dragon Drak invaded King Charles's kingdom. People suspected Drak kidnapped the girls, but no one could find them even after Drak was defeated. Now the three brothers who helped defeat the dragon want to find the princesses and bring them back to their grieving father. Ant Ferda and the friends that helped defeat Dragon Drak the first time would get the brothers ready for their new adventure, but they would need a lot more help from new friends they meet on the way. The boys first meet Carni the Deer who guides them to the Fairy Lady. She leads them to her fairy house of surprises where the brothers discover the locations of the missing princesses. With Fairy Lady's magic and the help of their animal guides, they find a wizard called The Lord of Life of Dragons in the Lowerworld, who becomes a very important ally against Dragon Drak.

This is a unique tale to introduce to young minds. Hlobil draws from a wealth of Slavic, Nordic, and Russian folklore to paint magical lands and bring interesting characters to life---more than enough to begin any child on their journey to fantastic realms. I would encourage children and parents to sample Forest Friends and the Three Dragons. At the end of the tale, if you are looking for more, you can take heart from the hopeful promise in the last chapter: "We know that after the end of one story there follows the start of a new story." Perhaps Hlobil is creating more fantastic lands for young minds to enjoy? I hope so. A recommended read.

Review provided by


Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon

by Karel Hlobil

Edition: paperback

Ardith Publishing 2010Rating:
Reviewed by: Kelly Davis

Having just endured a three day power outage, Karel Hlobil's new book Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon came in very handy as an engaging unplugged activity as my 9-year-old son and I took turns reading passages to each other by flashlight.

Forest Friends is an enchanting fairy tale which takes place in the long-ago Kingdom of King Charles, an idyllic land where the sky is always blue, flower petals glide through the air to land in clean and calm lakes, and all creatures great and small live in peace and harmony. "Rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans were filled with fish, and beavers built huge dams, while frogs splashed in the water. You could find love, friendship, help and good hearts in any corner of the forest or village."

Suddenly one day the peace is broken by a gigantic three-headed dragon named Drak. Dragon Drak was by far the biggest, ugliest, smelliest, cruelest creature anyone has ever seen. Scaly green with black spots, Drak spewed ash from each of his mouths and smelled like burning electric wire. He would devour whole herds of buffalo and cows, plucking them from the land with his three-feet long razor sharp claws. After devastating the forest and villages with his fire and ash, Drak settled in a large cave near a village and roared out his demands so loud that every person and animal had to cover their ears: Every month the villagers had to bring Drak a young girl in a white wedding gown tied to a pole or he would destroy everything and everyone!

The whole Kingdom was thrown into despair. King Charles offered a reward for anyone who could free the kingdom from Drak's reign of terror. Enter three brave young brothers who respond to the king's call. As the brothers go about their journey they meet up with a host of wonderful animals who want peace restored to the Kingdom every bit as much as the humans. You will delight in meeting the Acrobat Ants, Godmother Fox, Felicia the Fish and others. Will the brothers and the animals be able to defeat the evil dragon?

Forest Friends is an absolute delight for kids of all ages and the adults in their lives. My son and I also both loved the illustrations by H. D. Johnson, which really give a medieval feel to the story.

A must read for everyone, whether you are in a power outage or not!

Review provided by


Title | Author | Age Groups | Recent | Coming soon | Pending

Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon: Part One

Karel Hlobil
Ardith Publishing (2010)
ISBN 9781926582610
Reviewed by Sophia McElroy (age 9) for Reader Views (6/12)

One day in a magical land it was very peaceful, but then... a dragon appeared! He told everybody to bring a girl to his cave once a month; if they didn't they would be killed. One day, three brave boys were on their way to try to defeat Dragon Drak. When they arrived, much to their surprise, the dragon has three heads! All of their forest friends tried to help them too. There was a specific spot that would stop Dragon Drak. Will the boys and their forest friends work together to defeat the dragon? You must read “Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon” by Karel Hlobil to find out.

My favorite characters were the ants that helped out the boys and the forest friends. My favorite part is when the three boys and the ants go through the high grasses and they get an idea to hold the ants on leaves. I suggest this book is for ages 7 and up. I think that this book is great for kids who love fantasy. I hope you enjoy “Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon” by Karel Hlobil just as much as I did!
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New Book-   FAIRY TALES OF OUR GRANDMOTHERS ISBN 978-0-9876712-0-2  
Original Review at bookideas. com ....please click below 


Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers 
by Karel Hlobil 
Search Amazon for other books by or about Karel Hlobil.

Reviewed by: Celina Cuadro

Karel Hlobil expands his Forest Friends series with his latest work, Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers. He continues to be an enthusiastic writer who feels very strongly about sharing old legends with a new batch of young readers and showing love for the natural world. His newest tale promotes harmony with one's fellow creatures, promotes love for traditional myths and legends, and encourages young readers to look for magic in all things. Like Russian matryoshka dolls, this book is a story within stories, a gift within gifts, and young readers will be treated to a parade of magical beings, from the water creature Hasterman-taterman to the Archangel Michael.

Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers centered around three young children named Elene, Slava, and Anat, and their journey through three magical places: the Sitting Sun-Upperworld for Elene, the Setting Sun-Lowerworld for Slava, and Middleworld-Rising Sun for Anat. These three remarkable girls were the granddaughters of King Charles, father of Princess Daisy, Princess Lola, and Princess Kody from Forest Friends and the Three Dragons, who married Michael, Kevin, and Alex, the three friends who took on the three-headed Dragon Drak in Forest Friends and the Three-Headed Dragon. Readers new to the series should not worry about missing the two earlier books: the author had considerately devoted the first couple of chapters to catching newbies up on the events surrounding this remarkable family, and as such established how very special Elene's, Slava's, and Anat's journey would be. Purposefully left in the woods by their scheming nursemaid, the children's plight attracted the attention of the Three Fates, who sent them on a magical journey that would prepare them for the trials ahead. Elene was tasked with learning communication, healing, and faith from the divine creatures found in the Sitting-Sun Upperworld. Slava was offered lessons on courage and on how to quickly switch between different levels of consciousness in the Setting-Sun Lowerworld. Anat would learn about her connection to all living things as well as Mother Earth herself in Rising-Sun Middleworld. All this would be a lot for even three remarkable girls to learn! With their work cut out for them and all three separated from each other as they learned these wonderful lessons, would they ever see each other and their families again?

I liked the rhythm and tone of Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers: it put me to mind of stories that were originally oral traditions and finally were put to writing, like the Russian tales of Baba Yaga and Vasalisa the Wise. Mr. Hlobil is an equal-opportunity myth spinner, however. He had the originally German/Teutonic mythic creature Hasterman taterman as husband to the originally Polish Vila Rusalka; he had the Hebrew Shekinah and Neshama welcoming the child Elene together with the Japanese Amaterasu and Egyptian Amon-Ra, as the Angel Gabriel briefed her on what she would be learning on her journey - that's a very inclusive range of myths! Being fond of myths and legends myself, I enjoyed spotting mythic beings from different stories and cultures showing up in this one tale.

Young readers who like magical beings would be quite interested Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers. Mr. Hlobil's enthusiasm to share would win them over, and its rich parade of mythic creatures would provide many points of interest for young minds. The message of universal harmony, friendship, and respect for nature gives the impression of a feel-good journey with a good heart. A charming read.

Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers is available at


Click below to read original Pacific Book Review :

Title: Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers
Author: Karel Hlobil
Publisher: Karel Hlobil
ISBN: 9780987671202
Pages: 99, Paperback
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Young Adult/Children's
Reviewed by: Beth Adams, Pacific Book Review
Author's website



Clearly there exists a genre for illustrated children’s books, however within the artfully original drawings inFairy Tales of Our Grandmothers by Karel Hlobil, it is hard to claim this to be just a children’s story; as its drawings are so powerfully awe inspiring it challenges the reader to stop and view the details for a pregnant period of time.  Clad in a large printed format with high-gloss covers, filled with watermarked parchment pages of varying text font and point sizes reminiscent of skilled calligraphy, this book is a masterpiece of printed media, clearly representing the loving work of Karel Hlobil.

As the cover art depicted in the story titled “Elene and the angel” is intricately beautiful, I also was taken aback by a drawing titled “Three Fates” – done with a minimalist sketchy monochromatic technique.  Other work such as “Hasterman-Taterman Vicent” has a character sitting by a lake nearby a castle of such bizarre detail that the personality of the portrait is perceived instantly as being cunning, manipulative, precise and a powerful being.

The story takes the reader along a journey, a transcendental spiritual escape through three worlds.  As written by Hlobil, “The Middleworld is the realm of the human ego – the personal self.  The Lowerworldis the unconscious, hidden self, and the Upperworld is the realm of the superconsciousness, that you are experiencing right now.  While Spirit determines and directs, the Mind receives and creates, and Force (energy) performs, causing Matter to appear.”  Perhaps a bit surrealistic for young minds to comprehend, it definitely opens and expands children’s thoughts to the mysteries of their mind, self-being and angelic concepts within theology.

The journey is vivificated with the spirits of Forest Friends bringing an ecological love of nature to readers as three sister characters each embark on their quest.  Elene is the oldest and awakes in the realm of theSitting-Sun where she is exposed to primeval life-creating forces.  Slava, the middle sister, finds herself in a mountain field and stream setting, plagued by the villainous Wolf Derek and Red Fox Grandmother; saved by Veles, Lord of the Lowerworld.  And Anat, affected by a young boy’s energy, causing her body to open like the stars in the sky, flowing with a universal feminine force, sought the guidance of animal friends’ instincts for survival.

Interlaced with morals and virtue of character strength, the wonders of this fanciful journey, articulated both beautifully with words as with images, transports the reader into the mystic super-natural wonders of existence; all within the framework of classical good versus evil.  Creating a story which when read over will excite different thoughts; Fairy Tales of our Grandmothers stands as a completely original form of literary art.  A book ideally suited for young adults on the verge of mature curiosity of being, this book would make a wonderful gift due to its quality of print.  Drawn with impeccable detail and compiled with love, all those who hold and read this book will be forever touched by the forces brought to life by Karel Hlobil.

Buy this book at



Review provided by Diane Donovan      ........ Please click on ‘Donovan’s Shelf’ and scroll down!

Midwest Book Review

Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers

Karel Hlobil


FAIRY TALES OF OUR GRANDMOTHERS is the third volume in the 'Forest Friends Series' recommended for children's and pre-teen collections, and is for any who want to explore themes of friendship, world exploration and growth through a set of fairy tales. Lured into the wild forest by nursemaid Joana, three little princesses find themselves on their own, abandoned in a dark strange world where three Fates forecast their very different destinies.

The three are sent to different realms and experience different challenges that lead them to experience love, danger, and even ancestors who will help lead them to their true destinies.

Good-sized print accompanies a peppering of lovely color illustrations in a hardcover replete with adventure and magic.

Good reading skills (or parental assistance) will be required: this is no picturebook, but holds nearly a hundred pages of story packed with insights about nature, animals, angels, and fairy creatures, and religious allusions to God and his creatures in a land where "every boy is a prince and every girl is a princess".

The end offers resolution, hope, and reunited families with new strengths and awareness in a finely crafted, spirited series of adventures all ages can enjoy.



Midwest Book Review      

Children's Bookwatch: May 2014 The Three Brothers
Karel Hlobil, author
Kristen House, editor
Privately Published
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

9780987671219 $29.99 (CAD)

"The Three Brothers" is a collection of unusual traditional stories for children involving Forest Friends, transformation, and nature. Fourth volume of the Forest Friends series, "The Three Brothers" explores many life lessons such as the meaning of true friendship, awareness of nature's cycles and mystic harmony, the offerings of wisdom and power to those who learn to listen to their own heart and the voices of Forest Friends, and the sacred mystery of life. The theme of a sacred quest is explored with special significance. Each chapter tale has a special nugget of wisdom leading to the inspiring resolution, full of mystic harmony and love. Fantastic and creative illustrations combine the real and the imagined to provide a collage of fertile visions related to the story's themes. Nature and fantasy combine in fresh and unusual ways in this beauteous volume, to present a modern fairy tale with earth relevant morals of great and lasting value. "The Three Brothers" is recommended for young readers age 10 and up, with a special fondness for high nature fantasy.


Reviewed by: Celina Cuadro

Karel Hlobil continues to enrich his Forest Friends series with Three Brothers, where he focuses on the rescuers of Princesses Elene, Slava, and Anat from Fairy Tales of Our Grandmothers. Readers new to the Forest Friends series will find a self-contained book, with any reference to previous tales immediately followed by Mr. Hlobil's short but helpful explanations to keep readers focused on the story at hand. The author also lets the first chapter act as a recap of the previous story and a prologue to the three brothers' extraordinary tale.Three Brothers begins on a beautiful day in a tiny village where eldest brother Michael, middle brother Kevin, and youngest brother Patrick were raised by their widower father. Their father raised the boys by himself ever since their mother died, and the boys loved and respected him greatly. So on this day when their father mentions he wants to go deep into the forest to cut some wood, pick special herbs and gather mushrooms, all three boys want to join him and help. Problem was that Kevin and Patrick were a little too slow getting ready for Michael's taste, so he decided to meet his father at their first meeting place close to the cave. He figured his slower siblings can catch up at the second meeting place later on, and so he started out without them. En route to the meeting place however, Michael absentmindedly ate an Angelica herb that made him a bit sleepy and he distractedly wandered into the ruins of the dreaded dragon Drak's castle, where he fell asleep. He woke to witness mystical elders seated around a campfire, and they started Michael on a path to enlightenment through the Elements and travels to the different planes of reality. His brothers eventually met with their father at their second meeting place in the meadow and found out Michael never made it, so they set out to find him. Kevin wandered down a forest road where he chanced upon two owls who spoke to each other within Kevin's hearing, so he could hear about the mystery of the three princesses who were turned into of swans. Patrick's path led him to a dance with the antlered Lord of the Animals and the Celtic goddesses Danu and Brigit, which deepened his regard for the natural world and the Earth element. When the brothers finally found their way home to their father, they shared the wonders they witnessed with each other and agreed that they must rescue the three princesses in the owls' message. But how would they find the princesses? And how would they break the spell? That starts yet another journey, one that deepens their understanding of the mysteries of the magical world, and hopefully saves a few princesses along the way!This is a book brimming with positive energy and reflects Mr. Hlobil's enthusiastic voice. He champions the hope that young children should be exposed to stories of magic and harmony with nature to enrich their imagination and help them appreciate the mystical and natural wonders of our world. He loves peppering his works with creatures of myth and legend, both to foster a love for the fantastic in children and to keep alive folktales of different cultures. While gifting his young readers with this latest story however, he also aims to enrich his older readers' experience through spiritual insights that foster harmony and enlightenment. There are not as many gods, goddesses, or legendary characters in Three Brothers, but it is thick with symbols and their meanings: the significance of crystals, journeys through Middleworld and other mystical planes, the meanings of the Elements like Water and Earth, the totemic significance of different animals, and many more. In his quest to bring wonder and magic through children's stories, Mr. Hlobil makes a bid to ignite the imagination of those reading to the children as well.

Young readers encountering Three Brothers will get a beautiful story of how three young men rescued three princesses: there will be wonderful animals, magic, sorcery, and even a dragon. For older readers, Three Brother will showcase a rich tradition of symbols and images that helps foster peace and enlightenment in one's spiritual journey. Regardless of age, readers will walk away with something mystical and magical to consider. Recommended.

The Three Brothers may be purchased from the author's Google site here: The Three Brothers.

2014 GREEN Book Festival --General Fiction
Honorable Mentions

22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Writers Digest Self Publishing Competition (

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Entry Title The Three Brothers

Author: Karel Hlobil

Judge Number: 38

Entry Category: Inspirational

 Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.

 Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4

 Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 3

 Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

 Plot and Story Appeal: 4

 Character Appeal and Development: 3

 Voice and Writing Style: 4



Honorable Mentions