The Black Shard Book Review!
As a young teen I often had my nose stuck in a fantasy or mystery book, imagining myself off in a far-away land or solving an intriguing mystery. In Victoria Simcox’s second novel of her series “The Black Shard” I feel I get both of these favorite genres in one.
The Black Shard By Victoria Simcox
The Black Shard, Victoria Simcox’s fast-paced, intricately woven sequel to The Magic Warble, takes Kristina Kingsly and her schoolmates back to Bernovem … and into a thrilling, often dangerous adventure.
Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse.
Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
What SAPsMaMa Thinks:
Imagining myself as the young girl I used to be and thinking of how my daughter will become all-too-soon that young girl herself I read with enjoyment as the main character, Kristina, goes off on another unexpected and exciting adventure to the world of Bernovem. A misfit in her world and feeling like a nobody, in Bernovem she is “The Chosen One”! Many young girls will be able to identify with Kristina as she goes through a great amount of the emotions that young teens just figuring themselves out go through in their lives, and I find that as Kristina learns great morals and lessens so will our young readers.
The introduction does a wonderful recap of the first novel of the series, “The Magic Warble”, introducing if only for a slight period of time some of the main characters of the last story and proclaiming who they were to Kristina. Though it was great to see what had happened to some of my favorite characters I was a bit disappointed that a few were not brought back into the story (Such as Raymond her pet rat), but my disappointment soon went away as I was introduced to the many new friends made as the story went on!
The mystery about the Black Shard didn’t take long to come about in the story, and much of the history about the kingdom of Bernovem and royal family was a welcome supplement to the tale, giving it more depth. I get the feeling there is much more to Bernovem and its other kingdoms than we currently know! With grand celebrations and travels across wide open seas we are struck with questions such as “why does Kristina keep getting sick?” and “who is this serpent and what are they planning?”, filling us with suspense and looking forward to the next chapter to see what happens!
I very much enjoyed this sequel and look forward to the third book in the series! The ending to the tale of The Black Shard will surprise the young child and adult alike, leaving you anxious to find out what is to follow.
What SAPsMaMa Loves about The Black Shard:
- The main characters we have come to love remain in this sequel
- Great recap of the first novel in the series so anyone who wishes can pick up the book and enjoy it!
- Nice fantasy tale as well as adding a flare of mystery and suspense!
- Background information about the kingdom and royal family added greatly to the story and made it more real
- I liked the incorporation of morals and the turmoil young teens go through with their first love and how it was incorporated throughout the story…in a way acting as a story of it’s own!
Suggestions for Improvement:
- I would have loved for some of the characters from The Magic Warble to be mentioned or included more in this second book, and hope to see them in the third
- I felt like the ending was very sudden and all the answers to my questions were answered, even if they had been from the first chapter of the book or just a few pages ago. I think spreading out the ending a bit more would make it more absorb-able, I was left feeling like there was still more to tell even though everything was told!
About the Author: Victoria Simcox
Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art.
Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way.
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Read Excerpts from the Book: http://www.theblackshard.com/excerpts/