Thursday, June 24, 2010

Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Originally published in 1993, one of Zafon’s earliest works has finally been published in English. A suspenseful tale about a dark and mysterious presence in a small Spanish costal town; Zafon does not disappoint with this thrilling, dark and adventurous tale. Realistic relationships, brilliant writing and vivid details make The Prince of Mist another Zafon triumph.
Siblings, Max and Alicia Carver and their family move into a house once inhabited by the Fleischmann family; sadly the house has a tragic past as young Jacob Fleischmann drowned on the beach just meters from his home. Almost immediately, young Max experiences a dark sense of foreboding… something evil is lurking in the sleepy costal town and it’s only a matter of time before danger strikes and the mysteries of years past are revealed.
As Max, Alicia and their friend Roland explore the town and the ominous Orpheus, a ship that sank off the coast 25 years ago questions arise and the sinister feeling about the town intensifies. The three friends feel that answers lie with Roland’s grandfather, Victor, who is unwilling to explain all he knows about the ship and the person known as the Prince of Mist. Unanswered questions, eerie statues hidden in the mist, tragic deaths, and the lure of a dangerous magician, set the friends on a perilous and deadly path.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers

Ever wonder how the Salem witchcraft hysteria started? What were the real reasons the entire town was caught up in the accusations, trials and executions? Time of the Witches explores the household of Mistress Putnam who was troubled by the deaths of many of her infants. She had one healthy daughter but was unable to truly run her household and care for her family. In this book the story is told by an orphan who lives in the household as a companion to the daughter. Through her eyes we see the role Mistress Putnam plays in influencing events in the community. Her motivations and relationships with neighbors are portrayed as an important key to understanding what really happened. Compare this book with Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky
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13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

Tanya is being bullied by fairies that only she can see.  Far from being sympathetic, her irritated mom sends her to live with a cranky grandmother in a dark and gloomy English manor house. Tanya is warned against entering the equally gloomy forest that surrounds the house, but  of course, she has to enter the forest . . . where she encounters Fabian (the caretaker's son), a long dead ghostly girl, and even more fairies; who all seem to know who she is -- even though she can't tell a goblin from a pixie. This is one of those atmospheric, gothic fantasy stories that make you want to curl up, read, and let the whole world disappear.  Originally published in England, this book won the independent bookseller's Waterstone award for children's books, and will most likely show up on many 2010 best-of-year lists, an honor that this absorbing modern-day fairy tale well deserves.
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