13 Curses (13 Treasures Trilogy Series #2)

13 Curses (13 Treasures Trilogy Series #2)

by Michelle Harrison

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Overview

When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she strikes a bargain with the fairy court: her brother in exchange for all thirteen charms from her friend Tanya's bracelet. But as Red sets out on her quest to retrieve the charms, she soon learns that the fairies have done more than hide them -- they've enchanted them with the twisted qualities of the Thirteen Treasures they represent. And the longer the charms are missing, the more dangerous they become....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316041492
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Series: 13 Treasures Trilogy Series , #2
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 430,592
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Michelle Harrison will have readers rethinking their preconceived notions of fairies in this sequel to her debut novel, 13 Treasures. The 13 Treasures Trilogy was inspired by Michelle's extensive research on fairy lore and her love of classic children's books. She lives in Oxford, England.

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.

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13 Curses 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 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!!!!!!!!
amusingmother on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Michelle Harrison knows a lot about fairy lore. She takes this knowledge and writes a story about an early teenage girl who has the second sight and her toddler brother. Rowan has always seen fairies. They are not beautiful and kind creatures but malicious and stink of earth other smells not so pleasant. She and her brother are suddenly orphaned and sent to a home for orphans. But fairies do lurk in this home and eventually a greedy fairy starts kidnapping babies and replacing them with "changelings." Although Rowan takes precautions, her brother is kidnapped.The next couple of weeks are covered in another book where Rowan changes her name to Red, dyes her hair brown, trades places in the fairy realm with Tanya, another human with the second sight and Red seeks refuge in a tree covered with rowanberries. She falls asleep for a couple of months and wakes up.The story has two fronts - Red in the Fairy Realm, looking for her brother and trying to reach the Court before Halloween, the day that the Seelie Court gives power to the Unseelie Court, and a village outside London where Tanya lives in a mansion with her grandmother and groundskeeper and his son. Eventually, the two stories collide and the resolution of the conflict will involve both worlds as Red, Tanya and Fabian hunt down the 13 charms.The best part was the actual hunting of the charms. Each charm has been cursed and the curses are quite creative. I enjoyed each character immensely. The reading level is easy enough for a latency child who is not easily intimidated by thick books.This book is a sequel as previously mentioned. I had absolutely no problem with understanding this book even though I didn't read the first book. It is a trilogy so another book will be published. This one was very well written, enjoyable and did not leave me hanging. There are some open questions to be addressed in the third book but this story, as a whole, was complete.
LeslitGS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Red's younger brother was kidnapped by fairies when he was a baby and she swore then to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm herself, if she is able to complete the quest given her, the heads of the royal court have agreed to not only find and bring back her brother, but also return them to their home. All that is needed is for Red to find the thirteen silver charms from Tanya's bracelet and present it to the court. Unfortunately, the thirteen charms in question are small and scattered across the real world.If the title rings any bells, it may well be due to the fact that you've heard of or read the first book [as I did, last summer], The 13 Treasures. Now, to be honest, one of the reasons I picked it up is the cover. Another is the dust flap. Also, and importantly, because it looked to be a good standalone novel. And it was.Usually, when I later discover that an excellent book [or movie] has an upcoming sequel, I get a touch depressed. Let's be honest-how many of the gratuitous sequels thrust upon the public are actually necessary? How many are the act of lame money grubbers? Then there are the people who create a book, realize they can make it into a series, end the series and then start thinking about revisiting the series. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Argh, argh, argh.Sorry. End rant.My point was actually that, upon learning that there was another installment after 13 Curses, I was not overwhelmed by disgust. I was so unexpectedly delighted by the surprise quality of the first one, that I eagerly purchased this one without the usual hemming and hawing. When I began to read it, however, I also began to wonder...This book starts out quite slowly. Red, who did not really interest me so much in the first book becomes our new lead character as she finally gets a proper shot at finding her brother. She is alone in the forest to start out and it is just plain dull--too slow for a start. As the action picks , so does the ease of engagement with the story. Because of this, a few chapters in, we're up to being almost as awesome as the first book. Almost.Altogether and on the whole, 13 Curses is an interesting read. There is action, adventure, mystery, plot, friendship, enmity, trials, tribulations, fairies, people..lots of fascinating things to keep you going. Also I suppose that I am a substantial fan of Harrison's writing.[Disclaimer: This is actually a terrible review because I waited far too long and worked at 3 in the morning, so my brain might be more than a bit punchy. I think I'll go to sleep now. Much love--Leslie.]
soybean-soybean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
an excellent read. i hope there'll be more books coming!
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
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!