Discovering she is one in a long line of protectors of magic has transformed young Mara’s peaceful existence into one filled with secrets and dark magic. Deceptions are revealed, danger returns from the past, and Mara’s life with her grandmother and young sister, will never be the same.
With a definite fairytale feel, this heartwarming YA coming of age story focuses heavily on family bonds, friendship, and tradition. The detailed imagery of meals and festivals was a delight to the senses. The author should seriously consider writing a cookbook! The elemental magic was interesting and well done, complete with fairies (and who doesn’t like fairies!) Though, I would have liked to know more about the dark magic and those who wield it. As far as the character go, my favorites were Cole and Meg. I felt they really came alive versus some of the others. Cole was affection and all around adorable, and Meg had personality to spare. I would have liked a little more background/worldbuilding to have a better idea of why the story world is the way it is. The last half really picked up the pace. Secrets and suspicions abound, and you’re not sure who to trust. Yet even then, you get the tender, positive, homespun vibe that is sprinkled throughout.
Overall, reading this book leaves you with that warm, fuzzy feeling of curling up by the fireplace after a homecooked meal. Remember succeeds in delivering a positive message—not by hitting you over the head with it, but by wrapping it in an charming bow of magic and imagination.
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