Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Key & the Flame by Claire M. Caterer

Holly and her family are going to England over the summer break; her mother has a temporary job there.  The house is so-so, the woods are interesting and there's a boy next door, so it may not be totally boring.  But her life really gets interesting when she meets the old gardener who also lives in the neighborhood...

Margaret K McElderry Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to download an ebook of this story and read it (thank you).  I am reviewing it now because my ebook will expire shortly.  The actual publication date is April 2, 2013, so make a note on your TBR list.

This is a fantasy novel for ages 8-12, but I enjoyed it, too.  There's a bit of the flavor of the Narnia series mixed with a bit of Harry Potter in it.  I even noted a taste of Camelot.  Despite that, it is its own unique story and there will be more in this series.

Holly is given a key by the old gardener.  She's amazed to find it will fit in an old oak tree in a grove in the woods.  She runs back to talk to the old man again, but finds he's not home and Everett has followed her.  She won't talk to him about what she found and goes home.  Everett is jealous because he's known the gardener for a long time and never got a  present. So he steals a key.  He should have figured out that "magic" has to be freely given, not stolen.

In the morning, Holly, goes back to the tree.  Then she finds she has been followed by Everett and her younger brother Ben.  They all go through the tree.  None of them had any idea what kind of adventure they were starting.

From centaurs, shape-shifters, a familiar for Holly and more odd characters to a malevolent king and his soldiers and son, the story starts fast and continues at that pace until the end of the book.  It started as an adventure and becomes an attempt to stay alive.

Young readers will be glued to the pages.  There's lots of action and excitement within.  Nothing works as planned.  Even Everett finds himself in deep trouble.

This new fantasy with action/adventure is just the thing for those who are looking for something new to read that offers thrills and chills.  It's a PG rated adventure, no cuss words, and no dying main characters.  Just what the book doctor would order for a bored young teen during the summer months.

Grab yourself a copy when it comes out and let me know how your child enjoyed it.  (Or how you enjoyed it.)

Happy reading.

1 comment:

Shan said...

The key makes me think of the secret garden that was a big hit with girls. Nice to see a book that really is geared for the younger crowd who so want their own adventures. Wish I knew a kid to suggest this to.