The Mysterious Bookshop

Harrison, Michelle, 13 Curses, Bk 2

In an absorbing sequel to The 13 Treasures (2010), Red pursues her stolen baby brother through the parallel world of fairies, negotiating a landscape of deliciously sinister and dreadful magical creatures, finally discovering her own heartrending secret.

Harrison's satisfyingly hefty and page-turning adventure focuses on Rowan, the girl who willingly replaced Tanya as captive of the fairy realm. Rowan's quest to find and return her brother James to real England is finally aided by the residents of Elvesden Manor through a series of problem-solving challenges and a search for the 13 magical charms from an old bracelet. The sure-handed storytelling creates a completely credible setting—by turns violent and tender, sinister and poignant—in which those who can see fairies are most at risk of harm from the magical beings. The permeable border between the magical and the ordinary is described with matter-of-fact authority; the convincing result is a fully realized world where humans and fairies occupy a similar landscape to very different ends. Contrasts between human emotion and commitment and the cold, often cruel magic and mischief of the fairy realm create terrific tension and afford opportunities for heroism for the young protagonists.

While the threads of Red's story come neatly together at the end, there's still plenty left for a sequel. (Fantasy. 10-14)


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