Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Stolen Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Elodie, the dragon detective Meenore, and the kindly ogre Count Jonty Um are all travelling to see Elodie's family.  When they get caught in a snowstorm, they worry about the oxen dying from the cold but they suddenly find themselves taken in and given a new quest.  Meenore may be a great detective, but they have no clues.  Someone has stolen the Replica and the magic that held the volcano at bay is gone.  Disaster is coming and many people will die if it is not found quickly.

HarperCollins and Edelweiss allowed me to read a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 21st, so make a note to grab it then.  If you like magic, fantasy, shapeshifting, ogres, dragons and determined young girls, you've love this story.

The brunka that comes to lead them to a warm barn is troubled.  When she tells them why, she also admits that she doesn't know how much time they have before the volcano erupts.  It was stolen once before and returned in three days without much damage.  But she doesn't know when complete disaster will take over.

The ogre can shapeshift, so he turns into a bird and goes to warn the people in the lava's path.  He intends to come right back, but finds himself helping the folks trying to escape.   After all, a horse can move much quicker than balky mule.

Elodie does the detecting in the main building, which is huge.  There are "bees" (the workers), guests, and dozens of rooms.  She finds out the circumstances of the theft but it answers nothing.  No one saw the thief.  She continues to try to reason out it could be done.

Once Meenore has talked to everyone, he goes to find Count Jonty, who has not returned.  While he's trying to find him, he finds himself starting to help the humans on the ground who need help.  He can't understand why he does it, because he doesn't care about them.  At least he didn't used to before he met Elodie.

The author cleverly fits the thief in among the folks in the house.  It takes a combination of what the brunka calls the "lamb" (Elodie) and the "pup" (a young man visiting at the house) to come up with the solution.

This is a very good read.  Elodie struggles on her own, her companions are trying hard to get back, and the final confrontation is remarkable.  You won't be bored.  I'm also looking forward to the next book in this series.  And I'm buying A Tale of Two Castles so I can read the first one.  You might want to do that while you're waiting for this one to come out.

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