Rachel Roberts Three very different young teens, Emily, the shy one, Adriane, the outsider, and Kara, the power shopper, are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods where they discover a portal to another world. Wondrous animals have emerged from the portal, desperately seeking the magic that will keep them alive. Though the animals are peaceful and good, what follows them through the portal is twisted and evil and bent on destroying them all.
The Fairimentals have chosen these three fourteen-year-olds to protect the magical animals. To save them and their world, the girls must overcome their differences and band together. They begin a perilous quest to discover Avalon, the lost, legendary home of magic, little knowing the terrible dangers they will face along the way.
I was quite excited to read this book as it was the first review book that I have read with my daughter Willow. She is seven years old and really loves books but struggles with reading herself. This means that the books that we share together have become all the more special, I want her to continue with her love affair with stories and not become disengaged with reading. This as it turns out was the perfect book for this.
We read a couple of chapters of the book a night before bedtime and nearly every night you could almost guarantee that there would be tears as she was desperate to find out more. There were times when she became quite worried about what would happen to the characters and I did wonder whether she would want to carry reading but that really wasn’t the case. That she did want to carry on reading is testament to how well written the characters are in the story. We both got to know them well and both want to find out what will happen to them in subsequent books. As an adult there were bits that I found stretched the realms of imagination, but at the end of the day this is a fantasy book so it wasn’t too much of an issue. Willow had no issue with this at all and as she is closer to the age demographic of this book I think her opinion is the one that matters.
This isn’t a book that I would have chosen to pick up had I not known it was something that Willow would enjoy, animals feature heavily, and animal books really aren’t my thing. I am glad that I did though. Whilst it probably isn’t something that I would choose to read on my own it has been perfect reading material for the two of us and has definitely been among the better bedtime stories we’ve read. Verdict: Willow’s verdict of the book was that it was really, really good (said at the top of her voice!). Some really interesting things happened and her favourite character was Adrianne as she was really funny. My verdict is that the book was surprisingly gripping, enjoyable with some very well drawn characters. I am actually looking forward to bedtime reading whilst we complete the rest of the books. Reviewed by Alison and Willow
Publisher: Seven Seas
Publication Date: March 2008
Age: Middle grade
Source: Provided by publicist
Check back tomorrow when Avalon author Rachel Roberts will be sharing her writing tips