The Island and the Ring

Laura C. Stevenson, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-395-56401-1
After he formed the earth by harmonizing the discord of chaos, the great god Theon ``took the purest elements in everything that grew and pressed them together between his palms.'' Stevenson's second YA novel is set on the island of Elyssonne--home to the last remnant of Theon's ancient creation. One by one, Elyssonne's kingdoms fall to the villainous Ascanet, who dominates by overt violence and insidious psychology. When Ascanet tricks Tania's father into militant ways that devastate her kingdom, she flees--but not alone. Paired with the enigmatic Eliar, she discovers the protective valley of Descaria as ancient myth and prophecy divulge their secrets and unfold Tania's role in winning back the Golden Age of Elyssonne. Stevenson masterfully braids these separate melodies into a poignant fugue the harmony of which is distorted, and almost ruined, by Ascanet's dissonance. The story is classic fantasy and romance told in a refined tone that will appeal to subtle tastes. The lean but hyper-visual narrative feeds the reader's imagination while the dialogue effortlessly imparts deep philosophy. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71915-0
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