Friday, May 18, 2012

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
353 pgs.
Age 8-12
Rating: Wizard

Synopsis from back cover
"You don't always have to see to believe. Though her mother cannot see the evil fairies that rouse Tanya from her sleep, torturing her at the slightest mention of their existence, they are as real to the thirteen-year-old as anything she's ever known. If she could wish them away, she would, but it is she who is sent away -- to live at her grandmother's secluded countryside manor.

There is much to explore and even more to fear in the woods surrounding the estate. But the forest isn't the only source of dark secrets, and Tanya soon finds herself entangled in a mystery that could trap her in the fairy realm forever."

Harrison has delivered up a wonderful new fantasy series. There are two more after this one which I'll review once I get them read. The first thing I noticed about this story was the splendid sense of place. The descriptions of her grandmother's remote house and environs are painted so vividly and detailed that I have only to close my eyes to picture it perfectly. I love a strong female character and our heroine, Tanya, is just that. She doesn't give up when her constant battles with fairies wear on her mom's last nerve compelling her to send Tanya to her grandmother's. She doesn't give up when the mysteries at the house in the woods threaten to drive her mad if she doesn't solve them. She bands together with her cousin to solve the mystery of the children who keep going missing at the local hospital. Togther they battle long buried family secrets which are intrinsically entwined with the fairy problem. The author ties up enough of the many pieces of the puzzle at the end to satisfy the mystery solvers in us but leaves enough mystery to keep us coming back for more.

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