Water Keep (Far World, #1)
J. Scott Savage
Marcus is bullied because he’s different—orphaned, branded, crippled. But he’s also indomitable, quick-witted, and has a strange talent that can only be described as magic. When the Dark Circle finds him in his Arizona boarding school, their kidnapping attempt is foiled by a girl Marcus has only seen in his dreams. Kyja pulls him into Far World, a place where everything and everyone has magic … except her.
Talking animals, singing flowers, shape-shifting wizards, ancient prophecies, zombie foes, and world-hopping. The author is setting us up for a quartet of stories, with Marcus and Kyja needing to appeal to the four Elemental races for help in saving Far World.