A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When they turn fourteen, three very different girls, Amber, Opal, and Jade, are sent away from their homes, each carrying a special stone, and told that an ancient prophecy has decreed that they must be sent in ignorance to find their destinies. They soon find each other and, though initially suspicious and snippy, travel together to try to discover the secret of their fate. Meanwhile a nameless knight tries to discover who he is. Meanwhile again a girl lies dying and dreaming in present-day Paris.
The three girls and the Nameless One eventually become involved in a battle between Good and Evil against the evil bureaucrats of the Council of Twelve and their Army of Darkness. What the Parisian girl has to do with anything is never made clear.
Is it any good?
There's nothing really objectionable here, except really bad writing; although many kids will find it dreary and ridiculous, some will enjoy it. The only harm comes in confusing young readers about what constitutes good writing. In an eighth-grade writing class this book is worthy of respect, but in the world of publishing this should never have seen print.
A bright 14-year-old writes a story. It's pretty good for a kid, and no doubt her writing teacher is thrilled. Unfortunately, there's more to professional writing than stringing together hundreds of pages of clichés. The usual requirements include a plot that makes some sense, characters that behave somewhat believably, and, in a fantasy, a world that has some rules, even if they're invented -- but this book has none of the above.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the issues in this book, such as fate, destiny, hope, and sacrifice. They also could talk about the difference between amateur and professional writing. Do you find it obvious that this was written by a child? Do you think it would have been published if it had been written by an adult?