13 Curses

13 Curses

4.5 77
by Michelle Harrison
     
 

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The 13 Treasures have become the 13 Curses. When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs to be seen before the fairy court where she strikes a bargain: Her brother in exchange for all thirteen charms from Tanya's bracelet.

Back at Elvesden Manor, Red, Tanya, and Fabian begin a desperate hunt, but as they

Overview

The 13 Treasures have become the 13 Curses. When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs to be seen before the fairy court where she strikes a bargain: Her brother in exchange for all thirteen charms from Tanya's bracelet.

Back at Elvesden Manor, Red, Tanya, and Fabian begin a desperate hunt, but as they soon find out, the fairies have done more than hide the charms; they've enchanted them with twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent. And the longer the charms are missing, the more dangerous they become.

Can Red, Tanya, and Fabian find all thirteen charms? And if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Harrison returns to the world of fairies in this follow-up to 13 Treasures (Little, Brown, 2010). Two separate story lines about Rowan and Tanya, who can see fairies, run parallel and then intersect in the final pages during the search for the 13 charms from the bracelet introduced in the first novel. Unlike that book, this story seems way too long and complex for most kids, and then accelerates to an almost frantic pace when fairies challenge Rowan to find the 13 charms in order to save her brother, who was taken from her by the fairies. Tanya, the protagonist in the first book, becomes her ally. The search, which should have been difficult, seems almost ridiculously easy, and readers are left wondering about what the first three fourths were really all about. It is also never clear what the title means. Although this is an interesting and fresh look at the world of fairies, 13 Curses is too bogged down with depressing detail, giving way to a quick, unsatisfying conclusion.—Kathy Kirchoefer, Prince Georges County Memorial Library System, New Carrollton, MD
Booklist
"[An] engaging fantasy series"
From the Publisher
"An absorbing sequel....[with] deliciously sinister and dreadful magical creatures."—Kirkus Reviews"

Young readers will continue to be intrigued by this page-turner and will look forward to the final book in the series."—VOYA"

[An] engaging fantasy series"—Booklist

VOYA - K. Czarnecki
If a young person tells you they can see fairies, the worst thing you can do is pretend they are not being serious. The next worse thing you can do is not protect yourself against the fairies (hint: wearing something red can help). This second book in a trilogy—following 13 Treasures—focuses on Rowan, who goes by "Red." She seeks to find her brother, James, who was stolen by fairies. The story alternates between the present and a year ago, when Rowan lost both of her parents in a car accident in which she was also involved. Young readers will need an appreciation of the dark side of the fantasy genre, as the author takes off the kid gloves when tackling this magical realm where fairies can be as bad as they come. For example, there is the unforgettable Hedgewitch, who holds Red hostage and plans to use her as a disguise. Another captive explains this process by telling her, "You'll begin to have visions of things you haven't seen or done and memories that aren't yours but hers." Toward the latter part of the book, Red is given the challenge of connecting charms to a bracelet in order to have James returned. The charms represent the thirteen treasures and take on powers of their own for those that possess them. Young readers will continue to be intrigued by this page-turner and will look forward to the final book in the series. Reviewer: K. Czarnecki
Kirkus Reviews

In an absorbing sequel to The 13 Treasures (2010), Red pursues her stolen baby brother through the parallel world of fairies, negotiating a landscape of deliciously sinister and dreadful magical creatures, finally discovering her own heartrending secret.

Harrison's satisfyingly hefty and page-turning adventure focuses on Rowan, the girl who willingly replaced Tanya as captive of the fairy realm. Rowan's quest to find and return her brother James to real England is finally aided by the residents of Elvesden Manor through a series of problem-solving challenges and a search for the 13 magical charms from an old bracelet. The sure-handed storytelling creates a completely credible setting—by turns violent and tender, sinister and poignant—in which those who can see fairies are most at risk of harm from the magical beings. The permeable border between the magical and the ordinary is described with matter-of-fact authority; the convincing result is a fully realized world where humans and fairies occupy a similar landscape to very different ends. Contrasts between human emotion and commitment and the cold, often cruel magic and mischief of the fairy realm create terrific tension and afford opportunities for heroism for the young protagonists.

While the threads of Red's story come neatly together at the end, there's still plenty left for a sequel. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316041508
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Series:
13 Treasures Trilogy Series , #2
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
552,516
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.70(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

13 Curses


By Harrison, Michelle

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2011 Harrison, Michelle
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316041508

1

Ever since fairies had stolen away her little brother, Rowan Fox—or Red, as she now called herself—had thought of nothing except how to get him back. It consumed her and became her sole purpose, her reason for being. His disappearance had occurred less than two months after their parents’ deaths eighteen months ago. At the first opportunity, Red had run away to search for him. During the months that followed, she had lived by her wits and refused to doubt—even fleetingly—that she would find him. Her determination had been rewarded. She’d made a breakthrough. The breakthrough.

She had finally gained access to the fairy realm.

It was dawn when she awoke from a sleep that had been like a black void. She was curled into the hollow trunk of an ancient tree. Shivering, she reached out a stiff, cold hand to push aside the tangle of branches and brambles concealing her from the forest. As the mottled morning light filtered through the undergrowth, she saw the scars.

Both palms were caked with a dark substance. Dried blood. Her skin was lacerated with thin slashes, crossing this way and that, too many to count. Yet beneath the blood, the injuries had healed to silvery scars. Her mind raced back, remembering how she had got them. Red had not been intended for the fairy realm on the night she gained access to it. Someone else had—an unwilling captive held in cruel bonds of spidertwine. In severing them, Red had cut her hands—and her intervention had allowed her to be the one who crossed into the fairy realm.

Her empty stomach growled. Her full bladder was aching.

Grimacing, Red pulled herself from the hollow and stumbled away from the tree. She had pins and needles in her feet from sitting cramped for so long. Warily, she took a quick look around. Unable to hold on any longer, she lowered her trousers and squatted.

The woods were unnaturally quiet. When she was finished, she stood up and collected her belongings from the hollow. From her bag she withdrew the knife that she always carried with her and strapped it into its holster on her belt. Then she took a few steps back and looked up at the tree. It was an old and sturdy oak, but thanks to the birds—or whatever else lived in the tree—seeds from another plant had found their way into some nook of the bark and taken hold, for this other plant grew all over the tallest part of the tree. A spray of red berries caught her eye. They were rowan—her namesake—although she hadn’t been called by her real name for a long time. Another lifetime. It was the reason she had chosen this particular tree. Legend had it that rowan offered protection against enchantment—the malevolent magic of witches—and fairies.

Uneasiness settled heavily upon her. The berries had been hard and green when she had entered the hollow shortly after midnight. Now they were red and soft, having ripened—overnight. Added to the healed scars on her hands, this unsettled her. It seemed that time had passed.

Quickly she tried to recall what she knew of the plant. The berries usually became red in autumn. But when she had entered the hollow just after midnight, it had been July, the height of summer. Something was wrong. She had heard of time slips in the fairy realm, but if her guess was correct, it would mean that more than two months had passed since the point at which she had entered it.

Red glanced around the forest. Nothing stirred, but she knew that this scene of peaceful isolation was an illusion. She wasn’t alone. Something would reveal its true nature eventually—a face in the bark of a tree perhaps, or a haunting song inviting her to dance. She had heard of the dangers of the fairy realm.

Now that she was in it, she had to be ready for those dangers.

There was one last thing to do before setting off. Using the knots in the bark of the oak tree as footholds, she hoisted herself up to reach a rowan branch that was marginally thinner than her wrist. The branch snapped immediately beneath her weight and fell to the ground.

The rowan wood was about a foot shorter than she was tall. Resting it in the crook of her arm, she removed the knife from her belt and began hacking at the smaller twigs and branches that were growing from the wood, snapping them off to leave a staff of sorts. Now, with this added protection, she was ready.

She moved off. The woods were silent and cool, the early morning air swirling like wraiths in a low mist on the forest floor. Dew dripped from above. Red could smell the damp leaf mold on her clothes from being inside the hollow. It was mixed with the scent of her own sweat and blood. She reeked, and she knew it.

She walked relentlessly, following the sun as it moved higher in the sky. The air warmed a little but retained an autumnal chill. Still, she walked, her staff poised and her eyes and ears alert for any sign that she was being pursued. As the forest awoke, leaves rustled with movement above her head. A few times she looked up to catch sight of fey eyes peeping down at her. Sometimes the fairies vanished as their eyes met hers. Others, less wary, more curious, emerged farther from their nooks for a closer look, their wings and markings blending with the golden, ruby, and rich brown of the trees.

Presently, she heard the welcome sound of running water. Her heart lightened. She headed toward it until she found herself before a tiny brook that cut through the forest.

It trickled past, carrying the odd leaf here and there. Red knelt thankfully at its edge, placing the wooden staff carefully in front of her knees so that it remained close should she need it. She pulled her backpack off and unzipped one of the compartments to withdraw her water flask. She shook it; it was almost empty, containing less than a mouthful of liquid. She unscrewed the lid and emptied the stale water onto the grass next to her before taking the flask and plunging it into the water. It ran over her hand, icy and fresh.

Once the flask was full, she took several long gulps before returning it to her bag. Afterward she turned back to the water and began to gently wash the blood from her hands, watching as it disappeared into the flowing stream like swirls of dark red paint. She scooped up handfuls of water and sloshed them over her face and neck. Refreshed, she sat back on her haunches and watched her reflection in the stream. It swayed with the movement of the water, and with another jolt Red saw that her hair had grown. Leaning forward, she lifted a hand to her head and touched her mousy tresses. She had cut it herself only days before, into a short boyish style. But sure enough, it was longer. Half an inch of her natural auburn showed at the roots. Time had definitely passed.

Suddenly a figure appeared in the water beside her reflection. Quick as a cat, Red grabbed the rowan staff and turned as the figure loomed toward her, just inches away. Red slid back in shock, losing her balance. She fell backward into the brook and dropped her wooden staff. At the same time, a swarm of birds and fairies scattered from the trees above, shrieking warning calls as they deserted the area.

As Red emerged spluttering from the chilly water, she glimpsed the rowan stick drifting downstream, out of reach.

A rough hand stretched toward her, accompanied by a low voice.

“Come, child…”

The face of the woman to whom the voice belonged was partially hidden in the shadow of the hooded green cape she wore. Beneath the hood long, grizzled hair spewed out, spilling over the woman’s shoulders. There were things tied and knotted into her tendrils—pieces of rag and little rolls of parchment. Red could see a little of her face. A crooked nose—thin at the bridge and broad at the tip—was the dominant feature. Her nostrils were large and pink-rimmed. Her mouth was thin and curved, her lips colorless like the rest of her skin, but when she spoke, the inside of the mouth was unusually red. There were dried flecks of spittle at its corners. It was impossible to tell whether she was fey or human.

“Come,” she said again, with difficulty, as though the words felt strange in her mouth. She hunched suddenly, giving a horrible, hacking cough.

Red stood her ground, not moving an inch. Her heart was still hammering from the woman’s sudden appearance. How had she arrived so soundlessly? Water ran from Red in rivulets, and her hand gripped the hilt of her knife, ready to pull it out. She saw the woman’s head incline and knew she had noticed the knife, still sheathed firmly in Red’s belt, at precisely that moment. Red moved her hand very slightly, as though she were about to draw the knife. Though she was unsure whether the woman meant her harm, something in Red’s gut made her uneasy. She wanted the woman gone, and if it meant scaring her, then so be it.

The woman backed away as silently as she had come, edging between the trees. Red watched, still motionless, as the woman slowly vanished from sight. There was something strange about the way the woman had moved, something she was unable to pin down. Red shook herself as goose pimples appeared on her arms. She was cold now, as well as hungry. She needed to find food—and soon.

She gathered her bag and made to move off, habitually checking her knife with a quick pat of the hand. The familiar feel of the cold hilt reassured her. Lifting her bag onto her shoulder, she set off, determined to set a quick pace in order to keep warm, and dry off. Her wet clothes clung to her, and her hair dripped icy water down the nape of her neck. She shivered, and walked faster, cursing the fact that she had nothing else to change into. All she owned were the clothes on her back.

She had not walked very far when she saw another fairy. In the stillness of the woods, a subtle movement in the branches overhead caught her attention. A gray-skinned creature the size of a small child was hunched in the trees above. It was squat and rotund, its skin leathery like an elephant’s hide. At either side of its dome-shaped head were large, batlike ears. It looked like an ugly stone gargoyle. She paused momentarily before proceeding, never taking her eyes off it. The creature returned her gaze with an unflinching, amber-eyed stare, and crouched lower on the branch, holding on with ragged-looking claws. Its sudden appearance made her realize that the other rustlings and whisperings had stopped. Either the fairies were being very quiet or this part of the woods was strangely lacking in their numbers.

Cautious now, she kept up her stride as she passed beneath the branches, the creature still overhead. On the pathway before her lay a fallen tree, the width of its thick trunk reaching the height of her knee. In front of it lay heavy bracken and other forest debris. She needed to watch her footing. Momentarily she took her eyes off the gargoyle-like thing above to step over the tree trunk. As she did so, two things happened at once. The first was a strange sound coming from overhead: the chink and clinking of metal on metal. The second was that, as she lowered her foot to the earth beyond the fallen tree, the ground gave way beneath her.

As she plummeted forward, arms flailing, her left leg, still behind the tree, was forced onto its bark—carried by her own weight. She felt fabric and flesh tear as they caught the rough surface, extending down the length of her shin as gravity propelled her over. She was falling through branches and foliage into darkness. As the ground swallowed her, the last thing she was aware of was a high-pitched cackling before everything went black.



Continues...

Excerpted from 13 Curses by Harrison, Michelle Copyright © 2011 by Harrison, Michelle. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michelle Harrison is a British author and illustrator who lives in Oxford, England, and works for a children's publisher.

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13 Curses 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read thirteen treasures and when I came apon this one i was so stoked! Any one looking for a good read should keep this one on the top of the list!
Upsa-Daisy More than 1 year ago
this book left off right with red when she disappeared into the fairy relm. such a good book, reccommended for girls between the ages of 9-14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book anyone interested in faires should read this!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nickole Burns More than 1 year ago
This was a great book full of adventures and exitment with a touching yet slightly sad ending.
Sydney505 More than 1 year ago
This book is soo so so so so so so so so good!!!!!!!it speaks for itself because the cover!Its a intelligent storie about red trying to get her brother back!have a nice summer!keep reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
its the girl from the frist book,Rowan's,turn to get tormented by the fey. When everybody at elvesden manor get pulled into the "action". you will get pulled into the past and present of Rowan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is VERY good. I was very sad at the end when Red had gone all that way, and had risked her life so many times, and in the end, her brother doesn't even remember her. I hope that in the next book, Red will atlest get to see her brother once more, and she can see how he has turned out living in the fairy world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is misterious and intense with a really sad ending. But do not worry, nobody dies. I almost cried at the end though. I just could NOT put the book down.
V V More than 1 year ago
If youve read the thirtenn treasures(which is the first book) then u got to read this. Its the second book! This book was soooooooooooo great! If u havnt read the 13 treasures though, then dont read this yet. 3 cheers for micheal harrison!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loveing this book I<3 This Book So Far! btw I love who ever wrote it! p.s i hope this review was helpful!
Adrianne More than 1 year ago
Totally loved this second issue of this series !!!!! Anything with fairies I am there. I think just about anyone could enjoy this book. Can't wait for the third one!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They need to make a fourth one where james finds out about rowan and his real parents
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That would be a great book!!! And how he leaves the fairy relm and him and Red end up living either with Tanya or Rose. That would be great! From: (TRIN In love with reading)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No, there isn't a second book. Why do you ask was there a cliffhanger? Sorry, I've never read the book. In fact, a friend lent it to me, but I've never gotten around to reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havnt read it should i someone in my clss did a book report on and it sounded good but i just dont know what to do and the book she talked about doesnt seem like the is this the second or was the one she told me about the second i do not know say if i should read it please
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, i read it in two days! It almost made me cry like five times. I thouhgt that the ending was sad because rowan did all that to get her brother and they cant like erase his memory and put a glamour on him? If you are emotional bring a box of tussues where ever you bring the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thi is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only 10 but my fav thing to do is read this book i read it 9 times!Best Book in the world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 16 years old needs a guy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago