November 14, 2011

The Silver Bowl

By Diane Stanley
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this fascinating story,  Molly has inherited her mother's gift of seeing visions of the future.  Before she is sent off to work at the castle as a young girl, her mother warns her to never share her gift with anyone else or fear being cast as a witch or worse.  Molly fits in as a kitchen maid over the years, earning a solid place and friends in Tobias and Winifred. Like the others, she laughs off the thought that the royal family is cursed, even if some do die of somewhat unnatural causes. But when she is chosen to polish the silver, she ends up working on an intricate silver hand basin that begins to tell her of visions from the past which show that the bowl is truly full of curses aimed at the royal family.  When the entire family is together for a wedding, Molly is helpless when a pack of wolves burst into the room, intent on destroying the king and all his descendents.  But Molly, with the help of Tobias, manages to save one of the princes.  Now, they are on the run for where can they take the wounded prince?  Where is safe from a killing curse?  Readers will love plucky Molly and also the adventure her life takes her on.  A rollicking fantasy-adventure.

November 08, 2011

The Princess Curse

By Merrie Haskell
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Reveka is working as an apprentice herbalist at the castle and wants nothing more than to have her own herbary at a convent somewhere someday. But to do that she needs money and the best money to be had is if she can figure out a way to break the curse on the 12 princesses.  No one knows how, but every night their shoes are in tatters and anyone who has attempted to spend the night in their room either disappears or falls into a slumber from which they can’t awake.  Then comes the day Reveka is able to create an invisibility cap that truly works, and she finds out the secret of the princesses…but is there an easy way to break the curse after all?  Readers who know The 12 Dancing Princesses will find similar elements but enjoy the twist on the fairy tale and may hope for a sequel.  A very enjoyable fantasy.