Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: The Thirteen Treasures - Michelle Harrison

The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison
Series: Thirteen Treasures #1
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy, mystery
Published on April 12, 2010
Published by Little Brown
Pages: 368
Read From: 11.2.12 - 11.5.12

Though her mother cannot see the evil fairies that rouse Tanya from her sleep, torturing her at the slightest mention of their existence, they are as real to the thirteen-year-old as anything she's ever known. If she could wish them away, he would, but instead it is she who is sent away - to live at her grandmother's secluded countryside manor. 
There is much to explore and even more to fear in the woods surrounding the estate. But the forest isn't the only source of dark secrets, and Tanya soon finds herself entangled in a mystery that could trap her in the fairy realm forever.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Yes. I would have snatched this up in a heartbeat as a kid. It has every indication of being a good fantasy mystery, and I loved stories about the Fey when I was little.

Characters: I liked that Tanya loved antiques and books and exploring; she wasn’t one of these bratty girls who hates old houses, but gets to have an awesome adventure that she doesn’t really appreciate. Those kind of protagonists always annoyed me to death. Brunswick, the half goblin, was adorable in a totally pathetic way; I wish he had been in the story more. Warwick creeped me out; there was something very untrustworthy about him; I understood why the kids were rather frightened of him.

The Romance: There isn’t any! Yay!

Plot: The story really is a mystery more than a fantasy, and a good one at that. It kept me guessing, and when I solved a twist and found out I was right, it left me feeling unbelievably delighted with myself. This isn’t as light-hearted of an adventure as one might think, though. It has some deliciously spooky moments that kept me, as the Reader, glued to my chair and turning the pages as fast as I could. Oddly enough, the plot actually didn’t have all that much to do with the Thirteen Treasures. They’re mentioned long enough to explain how it is the Seelie and Unseelie Courts came about, but other than that, they don’t take front and center like one would expect.

Believability: Not really applicable.

Writing Style: It fit’s the story and the intended age group. It doesn’t feel like the Author is writing down to her Readers; merely suiting her style of storytelling to the Reader.

Content: None.

Conclusion: The climax offered a couple of rather surprising twists, ones which I really enjoyed. The conclusion is rather final, but I can see areas where the sequels could come into play. This was a good, fast read to spend a few hours with; it brought out the inner kid in me that spent three years scouring the nearby woods for a dragon, convinced that it had to be hiding somewhere. With good characters and an exciting plot, it’s a fun adventure.

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-boy read, eight and up. Fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles would really like it.

Others in This Trilogy:
1)The Thirteen Treasures
2)The Thirteen Curses
3)The Thirteen Secrets

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