The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison
|The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison|
|Reviewer: Sophie Hickman|
|Summary: This time following the feisty and ruthless Red, the sequel to The Thirteen Treasures is gripping and the description is practically perfect, but the blurb gives away more than half the book and its predictability lets it down.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: January 2010|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Red is back, but she's trapped in the fairy realm. Having swapped places with Tanya, she is bound there, but is still desperate to get both her and her brother back into the human world. She must seek an audience with the fairy court, but the realm is full of deception and cruelty – it will be a challenge just to get there. And guess what happens when she gets there? She is set another challenge, twisted with the cruelty of the Unseelie (Boo! Hiss!) court. Whilst the journey goes on, she reflects on her past: the car crash that killed her parents and her time at the children's home. Meanwhile, Tanya has returned to Elvesden Manor for half term and let's just say that her ability to see fairies comes back into use when the new housekeeper and her pesky parrot land her and Fabian and the whole Manor crew into trouble with the little people.
WARNING: Do not read the back of this book. This may seem a little odd, but I really regretted it. The back gives away more than half the story, and the cliff-hanger is only solved in about the last one hundred pages. However, I empathise with the publishers as The Thirteen Curses has a complex plot, which I also struggled to summarise.
Michelle Harrison is a very talented writer. Her description is almost perfect; not too flowery or rambling, but short and sweet and very effective. Her characterisation is also really good, especially Red, who is not the stereotypical feisty teenager, but actually has depth. I felt Tanya, who had the lead role in The Thirteen Treasures, was a bit shadowy, though. I think this is a book where you have to have read the one before it first. So if you haven't, I would definitely recommend checking it out.
My reading pace picked up the deeper I got into this book. I think it is the only fairy fiction book I've read that actually gripped me. I don't like anything with a lot of trauma or romance, so the plot of this book was practically perfect. If you're like me, it's definitely worth picking up.
I know the Bookbag reviewer who read The Thirteen Treasures commented that it was a bit predictable, and in the case of The Thirteen Curses I have to agree. Sometimes the answer is just staring you in the face. However, there were some twists that I would never have guessed.
If you're into fairies – read it! If you're not – this could be the series to get you into them!
I don't think you should let the blurb issue or the slight predictability put you off The Thirteen Curses, as it has a thousand other qualities that completely redeem it and some really original ideas. Michelle Harrison has true potential.
I would mainly recommend this to teens or brave preteens. It has some not very nice images, e.g. a man with his lips sewn together. I'm deducting a star overall for the blurb issue and the predictability, but apart from that – well done Michelle Harrison!
Michelle Harrison has a lovely website.
Thanks for a great read Simon and Schuster!
If you haven't already, check out the first book in the series. If you're looking for more fairies, you should look at Steve Augarde's The Various trilogy. For a similar magical feel, but no little people, how about Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls? And for boys (and girls!) who like their fairies teamed with guns and farting dwarves, Artemis Fowl is a must-read.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison at Amazon.com.
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