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by Victoria Strauss

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up Alexina Taylor has always felt her separation from the rest of humanity, but she has assumed it to be a fault in her own character. It is only after she meets Taryn and his companions, journeyers from a parallel world, that she discovers the awesome powers which are hers to command. Alexina's loneliness makes her vulnerable to manipulation, and even her abilities cannot guard her against the betrayal which wears friendship's smile. A hazardous quest, a mysterious shadow, an enigmatic man and his seemingly enchanted mansion all combine to form a thrilling narrative, slowed somewhat by chunks of exposition, often necessary in fantasy to acquaint readers with the created world. Like many other protagonists who follow a quest, Alexina experiences the pain which comes from growth, but she also reaches a kind of peace through acceptance of herself and her circumstances. If this acceptance seems somewhat facile, and the realistic world's issues not quite so interesting as those involving Taryn, Bron and their people, this may be because few things are resolved at novel's end. There is pause as of calm before storm, and readers are left wonderingand hoping. Readers of Walker's Inherit the Earth (1981) and McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (1974, both Atheneum) will find this hard to forget and will demand to know ``what happened next?'' Holly Sanhuber, Muskego Public Library, Wis.

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Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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Worldstone 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
M_M_Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was a teenager (and it was brand new!), and loved it then, as I am sure that I would love it now. I had borrowed the hardcover from the library 3 or 4 times, over the course of about a year, and sometime after that, the book just vanished from the shelves... I personally think that someone never returned the book, and sometimes I wish that that person had been me! Currently, I wish that this book was in e-book format, because I would love to own a copy on my beloved nook. Please put this book in e-book format, O' Powers That Be! The characters were engaging, and it truly filled a void in my life when I was reading it, because here was a teenaged main character who felt like she was on the outside looking in, and I felt the same way. I wished that I had special abilities and mystical friends to whisk me away to another world, just like her. It isn't overtly religious like A Wrinkle In Time, or the Narnia Chronicles. Any religion in the books is subtle, and uplifting, and did I mention subtle? I always like to tell people that this book made me want to write sci-fi/fantasy, and for the most part, that's true... this book actually made me want to write about parallel worlds and psychic abilities! (This turned into a love of ALL alternate reality fiction, both written and filmed, and I eagerly devour said subject with a voracious appetite, even now in my 40s.) All in all, I wish that I owned a copy of this amazing book so that I could read it over and over again!)