Circle of Three

Erica Farber, Author, J. R. Sansevere, Author, John R. Sansevere, Joint Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-32613-1
This first book in the projected Tales of the Nine Charms trilogy is unoriginal and scattered in its focus, a B-list choice for fantasy readers. The beginning is disorienting: three separate child protagonists pursue seemingly unrelated adventures. Only in mid-novel do they find themselves united in a fight against ""The Dark One"" who threatens the magical world of Sunnebeam--but the exact nature of the threat remains murky even at the close of the book (""The dark will rise again,"" says a villain, in one of several obvious echoes of Susan Cooper's classic The Dark Is Rising fantasy sequence). Smart-mouth Walker, an American, has been called into Sunnebeam to be ""the Bearer,"" while Gypsy girl Aurora, gifted with second sight, is ""the Protector."" And smart but sexist Niko, formerly in training to become a kind of peaceful warrior, finds himself ""the Chooser."" Farber, formerly a children's book editor, and Sansevere, who collaborated with Mercer Mayer on children's computer programs, leave readers hanging--but their world of wise gypsies, sage warriors and magic charms may not be wondrous enough to bring any but the most ardent fantasy buffs back to learn the ending. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Prebound-Other - 228 pages - 978-0-613-50287-0
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-440-41513-8
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