Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling, Snicket, Funke… Readers who have travelled in the fantasy domains created by any one or all of these will detect much that seems familiar in Stephens’ novel. Sisters Kate, Emma and their brother Michael, whose parents have apparently disappeared, have spent most of their young lives in a series of orphanages – one of them the ‘Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans’ – and now find themselves placed in an institution in the location known as Cambridge Falls, a location as strange for them as the institution itself: the surrounding landscape is sterile and there seem to be no children anywhere. It will be the role of Kate, Emma and Michael to embark on a sequence of adventures which will throw light on these and related mysteries, in the process pitting their very considerable wits and resourcefulness against some very evil (though frequently colourful) opposition. The key to their quest resides in a magical book, endowed with the ability to afford its users an initiation into the secrets of time and space and acting as a portal through which other worlds may be visited. Offering a lengthy, but well paced, narrative and three excellently portrayed and skilfully differentiated child characters – Michael is particularly well conceived and executed – Stephens’ novel can legitimately take its place among its predecessors in a similar genre.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2011-05-01 00:00:032022-02-08 17:37:07The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, Book One)