As a kid I read a book about two boys who hate each other and are opposites to each other (lanky red-haired runner vs. stocky black-haired wrestler). They're transported to a parallel world where they have to undertake some sort of quest. Miscellaneous memory-fragments:

  1. I think there's a magical yin-yang amulet.
  2. There's a wolf-spirit or wolf-god. Possibly called Fenrir?
  3. What we call magic they call science; what we call poetry they call magic.
  4. They're summoned into the other world by a bald man in a robe who looks a little like Varys from GoT.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?


1 Answer 1


This is Jay William's Hero From Otherwhere, initially published in 1972, and previously asked about and answered here at: Trying to remember title/author of children's fantasy book

From the back cover blurb of my paperback edition (bold is mine, to match your memory fragments):

It was a case of hate at first sight. Not only did Jesse and Rich dislike each other from their very first meeting, at school, but they were almost total opposites physically and temperamentally. Sent to the principal's office after a fight, they are stunned to find themselves in a strange room with two magicians from a parallel world. The boys are told that all the scientific incantations had been performed, and that the results were indisputable--they, and they alone, had been chosen as the logical pair to rescue the people of Gwyliath from the wolf Fenris.

If I recall correctly, their yin and yang amulets connect to one at the climax. There's also an unusual scene where they have to spend all night beating out cold, blue fire in a field, using only single straws plucked from a broom.

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