Topaz and the Plum-Gista Stone
Good easily triumphs over evil in this sequel to Topaz and the Evil Wizard. Topaz, a "conjure cat" with mystical powers that he doesn't yet understand that well, recently became ruler of the Land of Knownotten after the death of the beloved elf king. His closest friends are Daisy, an orphaned white fawn, and Otis, a great horned owl. When Otis suddenly becomes blind, the trio goes in search of the Gnome Patriarch, who announces that Otis's blindness can only be cured by the magical Plum-Gista Stone, which has been stolen by an evil witch's sprite. Armed with magic crystals and herbs to ward off evildoers, Topaz, an ornery raccoon, and two ingenuous gnome brothers set out to wrest the healing stone from the witch's grasp. Despite some hurdles—a cursed river, foot-grabbing roots, a foul-smelling ogre, and clouds of lethal gnats and fleas—the mission is accomplished with minimal difficulty. Frayne's clipped style streamlines the story nicely, yet as both fantasy and adventure, the novel is short on tension and drama. Ages 6–12.