Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard longs for adventure, some escape from her humdrum life. That is precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door--in a tree. Read more...
Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard longs for adventure, some escape from her humdrum life. That is precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door--in a tree.
Holly crosses the threshold into a stunning and magical medieval world, Anglielle. And as she does so, something unlocks within Holly: a primal, powerful magic. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs--her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly's newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own.When Ben and Everett are sentenced to death by the royals, whose fear of magic has fueled a violent, systemic slaughter of all enchanted creatures, Holly must save them and find a way back home. But will she be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-02-18
- Reviewer: Staff
In this earnest first novel, 11-year-old Holly Shepard, her annoying younger brother, and their overprotective parents relocate from the U.S. to a small town in England. A gift from their caretaker awaits Holly when she arrives: an antique key that hums with secret power and, she soon discovers, opens doorways to other worlds. Soon Holly, her brother, and their new friend Everett are transported to Anglielle, a place very much like medieval England, except that it is also home to magicians, centaurs, shapechangers, and other magical creatures. Holly, who sees herself as someone who “wasn’t very good at anything in particular and ‘didn’t apply herself’ and was a little on the scrawny side,” discovers that she is an “Adept” and that her key is a magic wand. The magical beings are being hunted by tyrannical King Reynard, and only Holly can save them. Anglielle and its magic are fairly generic, but Caterer is especially good at creating believable children in all of their human imperfections. The book’s pace is sprightly, and Holly’s adventures are exciting without being too scary. Ages 8–12. Agent: Chris Richman, Upstart Crow Literary (Apr.)