November 26, 2010

13 Treasures

By Michelle Harrison
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Picking up this book, one might think that it will simply be a quest for the 13 treasures in the title.  In fact, the story doesn't reveal what the 13 treasures are until more than halfway through, and there is never a quest to recover them.  Instead, we follow Tanya, a 13 year old girl being routinely tortured by fairies that she can see but no one else can.  At her wit's end at what she thinks is Tanya's wild acting out behavior, Tanya's mom ships her off to her grandmother's rambling old mansion for a break.  But it is there, with the groundskeeper's son Fabian, that Tanya uncovers a 50 year old mystery of a missing girl as well as a recent mystery of another missing child from a local hospital.  Can the fairies somehow be involved? And can Tanya's ability to see them finally come in useful?  Light, fanciful, beautiful fairies are not what you'll find in this story--instead the fairies tend to be dark and dangerous, as is the situation that Tanya finds herself in.  Readers will be drawn into this deep, twisting story and eagerly turn the pages to get to its both tragic and hopeful conclusion.