cover image Charmed


Marilyn Singer. Atheneum Books, $14.95 (219pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31619-7

At 12, Miranda has been told often enough that she has an active imagination. Yet when she is yanked out of her bedroom one evening in the company of a snake-goddess named Naja and a human-size feline named Bastable, she knows this is no ordinary fantasy. Miranda and her companions, including a boy, a rat and the angelic Bennu, have to defeat the dreaded Charmer, an evil creature who will use any means he can to enslave the universe. Dealing with each character's separate world, the Charmer employs insidious forms of mind control and addiction. True to form, good overcomes evil, but Singer ( Horsemaster ; Turtle in July ) interweaves a convincing--if unexpected--anti-drug message into her exciting narrative. Fans of fantasy will welcome this addition to the genre. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)