Friday, September 21, 2012

Crystal Bones by c. Aubrey Hall
313 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Rating: Griffin

Half Fae twins Dielho and Cynthe, born of a Fae mother and human father, are painfully aware of the prejudice against half breeds and know it’s better just to blend in. They eagerly await their thirteenth birthday when their mother will bestow upon them their magical gifts. But when the day arrives, nothing goes as they planned. Instead of celebrating at the village fair, they’re given chores and sent on a boring errand. After delivering cloth to the castle, the temptation is too great to check out the fair, but this detour proves deadly. They are spotted and pursued by a goblin. They escape and return home only to find it burned to the ground, their mother dead. Their father’s last words plunge them into a world of family secrets, enemy goblin hordes, powerful swords and magic. Along with a talking wolf pup, and a half goblin creature named Scree, they set off to find their only relative, a Fae uncle they’ve never met. This fantasy has many traditional elements – magic, mysterious swords, sorcery, quest. Although the plot moves along at a good pace, the characters develop slowly at first giving the book a sluggish appeal at the beginning. The magical gifts of both children seem to be injected into the storyline making it seem like they just knew stuff without learning it. The author cleverly uses language to alter words for this world like “walner” for walnut tree, giving the descriptions a multi-textured, magical feel. The heavy issues of grief and prejudice are addressed realistically keeping the story from becoming too depressing. The end is left open for the next in the “Faelin Chronicles” series.

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