Sunday, June 5, 2011

13 Curses by Michelle Harrison

13 Curses
Goodreads: The 13 Treasures have become the 13 Curses. When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs to be seen before the fairy court where she strikes a bargain: Her brother in exchange for all thirteen charms from Tanya's bracelet.

Back at Elvesden Manor, Red, Tanya, and Fabian begin a desperate hunt, but as they soon find out, the fairies have done more than hide the charms; they've enchanted them with twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent. And the longer the charms are missing, the more dangerous they become.

Can Red, Tanya, and Fabian find all thirteen charms? And if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

My take: Michelle Harrison knows a lot about fairy lore. She takes this knowledge and writes a story about an early teenage girl who has the second sight and her toddler brother.  Rowan has always seen fairies. They are not beautiful and kind creatures but malicious and stink of earth other smells not so pleasant. She and her brother are suddenly orphaned and sent to a home for orphans. But fairies do lurk in this home and eventually a greedy fairy starts kidnapping babies and replacing them with "changelings." Although Rowan takes precautions, her brother is kidnapped.

The next couple of weeks are covered in another book where Rowan changes her name to Red, dyes her hair brown, trades places in the fairy realm with Tanya, another human with the second sight and Red seeks refuge in a tree covered with rowanberries. She falls asleep for a couple of months and wakes up.

The story has two fronts - Red in the Fairy Realm, looking for her brother and trying to reach the Court before Halloween, the day that the Seelie Court gives power to the Unseelie Court, and a village outside London where Tanya lives in a mansion with her grandmother and groundskeeper and his son. Eventually, the two stories collide and the resolution of the conflict will involve both worlds as Red, Tanya and Fabian hunt down the 13 charms.

The best part was the actual hunting of the charms. Each charm has been cursed and the curses are quite creative. I enjoyed each character immensely. The reading level is easy enough for a latency child who is not easily intimidated by thick books.

This book is a sequel as previously mentioned. I had absolutely no problem with understanding this book even though I didn't read the first book. It is a trilogy so another book will be published. This one was very well written, enjoyable and did not leave me hanging. There are some open questions to be addressed in the third book but this story, as a whole.

4 Stars

1 comment:

Jennifer O. said...

This sounds like an interesting read. I'm not a big reader of fairy lore, though one book recently caught my attention and I loved it: Don't Breathe a Word. This one looks like it's word looking into.

Thanks for the review.