Crystal Bones

C. Aubrey Hall, Marshall Cavendish, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5828-9
Two magical teens experience tragedy and adventure in this fast-paced opener to the Faelin Chronicles trilogy. All their lives, Diello and Cynthe have been conditioned to avoid attention, so their Fae blood won't bring them undue prejudice. The twins yearn for a little adventure, but their 13th birthday brings more of it than they ever expected. A brutal goblin attack kills their parents and razes their home, leaving them at the heart of a mystery that has uncaring adults and a powerful gor-goblin looking to capture, kill, or exploit them. Their only hope is to decipher their parents' dying wishes, master their newfound Faelin powers, locate a magical artifact, and figure out what's really going on. Hall (a pseudonym for adult SF/fantasy author Deborah Chester) injects her fantasy setting with a fair amount of realism; despite the tragedies that befall the twins, the story never feels unbearably bleak. She delivers a nonstop series of tense escapades, allowing the characters to find their inner strengths even as they deal with threats both fantastic and mundane. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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