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Heartlight (The Adventures of Kate, #1)
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Heartlight (The Adventures of Kate #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  683 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A "splendid" stand-alone novel "in the tradition of Madeleine L'Engle and C.S. Lewis." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

A young girl must find her missing grandfather-and uncover the secret he harbors that could save Earth and the entire solar system from annihilation.
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Ace (first published September 1st 1990)
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Abarat by Clive BarkerCoraline by Neil GaimanDays of Magic, Nights of War by Clive BarkerNeverwhere by Neil GaimanThe Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Best strange fantasy
27th out of 70 books — 82 voters
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Subtle Knife by Philip PullmanNeverwhere by Neil GaimanAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Fantasy Books Set in Two Worlds
412th out of 516 books — 579 voters

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Community Reviews

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Saccharine and boring and convoluted. Do not read unless you are a 12 year old girl, and even then, with discretion.
Michael M.
I read this book in fifth grade because it sounded interesting and it was written by a great author I was following at the time, T.A. Barron. I remember how I was engulfed in it and read it in five days (considerably a short time for me back then) and how I stayed up turning page after page. I think I enjoyed it so much because it was my first step into a genre I had never read before: science fiction. The ideas of space, physics, aliens, and a bit of humanity have to be included in a science-fi ...more
I read most of Barron's early books when I was in Elementary School and Junior High (I still remember trying to memorize the ballad in his book The Merlin Effect, and how excited I was when I read that there were actually going to be two more Lost Years of Merlin books!). Lately I've been on a kick of rereading some of the books I read as a kid.

I loved the story all over again! Why not believe in fantastical things? And I appreciate that Barron embraces death in his books as well. This time arou
This book is pretty stupid, but the second book in this series was my favorite book in the 6th grade, and I just realized it was a trilogy. Luckily, it's not a series that requires you to read any of the other books; so, my 6th grade self did not suffer from not reading this book. Unfortunately, my adult self did.
Made it about halfway through. May be more enjoyable for a younger, less-read audience. I found the "science" ridiculous and the writing over-wrought.
Elizabeth Cisewski
I would actually give this book a 3.75 for a few reasons. I thought that the plot for this book could have been interesting, but the way it was written, I think that it could have been better. It was a touching story but got quite boring in many parts of the book. I was reading that book and thinking about what I thought of it, and what I would rate it. I was thinking that I would give it a three, then came the ending. The ending definitely made it a better book, not the ending to the plot but t ...more
I was disappointed by this book because I like other T.A. Barron books - although there's some imagery and great lines "a person's life should be like a prism: inhaling light...exhaling rainbows," the book as a whole fell flat for me. Definitely geared towards a younger reader who might appreciate it more. To me it just seemed like the point of the book was made early on and the rest of the book just supported the point over and over and over again to the point where I was a bit bored.
April Brown
What ages would I recommend it too? – Twelve and up.

Length? – Two day’s read.

Characters? – Four primary characters.

Setting? – Fantasy, alternate dimensions.

Written approximately? – 1990.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? – Yes. Confusion. Was the story a dream, or not? It would be fine if it is.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Clarify confusion.
I came back to this after having read it in elementary school, excited because it was the prequel to the Ancient One, which my fourth grade teacher read aloud to my class. However, on coming back to it, I have to say Kate is mostly just annoying, and these books are less magical than I remembered and a *lot* wackier. Like, Charles Williams wacky. Suffice to say I did not bother to finish my re-read.
This book may have been written in the style of CS Lewis, however it lacked his excitement and passion. This novel was a bore, a couldn't finish it because of the old-style language that is totally different to today's, which made the book seem implausible and saccharine. When the storline got bizarre i gave it up. Sorry, try it if you want... but beware...serious snore value.
Although the book's theme of the role of death is a somber one, the writing is not. That's partly because of the attendant theme of love conquering all. The book has elements of physics, metaphysics, adventure, science fiction and fantasy, broadening its appeal to many audiences. Even the author recognizes similarities in plot to Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time.
Adam Bruns
I wasn't sure about reading a book from an author I never heard of before, but decided to take a chance. Strangely it was shelved under Child Fiction at my public library, but I think people of all ages will like "Heartlight." If anyone has ever read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra), "Heartlight" follows that science fantasy tradition.
Amy Yam
Oh, the delights of poorly-written science fiction! It's as delectable as a "rotten tomato" B movie. This one actually made me laugh out loud repeatedly, which some well-crafted books never achieve, so kudos to Barron. I am frightened by the thought, however, that there is more than one Adventure of Kate, as I cannot imagine who would dare pick up the next one...
I have to say I liked The Ancient One a lot more than Heartlight, but it's good to be able to start at the beginning of Kate's adventures and understand what happened to her grandfather. I like the way T.A. Barron has no qualms about dealing with death in his books, and he approaches it in a very logical and beautiful way. Still makes me cry though.
Centa Schumacher
When I was 10 or 11 my school librarian recommended this book to me, and I adored it. I can't wait to read it again, fantasy or no.

Update: This one is a sweet and sad YA book, the ice crystals are pretty crazy though. The author is great at lush descriptions and believable, fun fantasy. Fun read.
Some of my most favorite quotes are taken from this beautifully written story about a girl who has to learn to trust in herself and in what she really believes to find herself. It's a story about friendship, love, trust, and in a abstract way: the freedom to think and feel.
A transparent Madeline L'Engle style of "hard science meets fantasy" with a tad more god than I care for in my fiction.

Barron's The Ancient One is much better!
Fantasy about a young girl who's grandfather discovers that the sun is dieing, and takes a trip to another star to find how to save the sun. I found it slow and pretty aimless. Maybe just not in the mood?
Brandon Alexander
This was more of a smorgasbord of science fiction ideas thrown into a paperback cover. While not particularly fantastical, the novel bears the potential of an eventually riveting author.
Anthony Faber
Kate #1. Second rate Madeline L'Engle, only with more religion and more garbled science. If you really like L'Engle's stuff and aren't to critical, you might like this, but...

Jul 24, 2007 Cinco rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one!
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
I'm still mad at Madeleine L'Engle for providing a blurb, prompting me to read the book. Absolutely terrible, don't-know-how-it-ever-got-published crap.
This is a really unique look on science. I found it very interesting. I enjoyed myself, and can still picture the imagery the author used. :D
I'm a big fan of The Ancient One so I thought perhaps this book would be a good read. But this book did not capture me.
Sep 13, 2008 Jenna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elementary school kids
Recommended to Jenna by: mom
eh... It's ok. Not wonderful, but a decent book considering it's probably meant for people a couple years younger than me.
T.A. Barron is great at mixing fantasy with science fiction and making the reasoning seem a reality.
traveling to space, butterfies, girly science fiction, blah...
Feb 20, 2011 Laura added it
Absolutely loved it. Great gift for a teen girl.
Feb 18, 2009 Kelly marked it as to-read
Shelves: young-adult
i started this bk, not sure if i finished it
It was an awesome sequal!
Jun 28, 2012 Annie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
4 stars
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T.A. Barron grew up in Colorado ranch country and traveled widely as a Rhodes Scholar. Though he’d dreamed of becoming a writer, he couldn’t find anyone to publish his first novel. He joined a business, eventually became president, then decided to try again. So in 1990, he surprised his business partners by moving back to Colorado to become a writer and conservationist. Since then he has written o ...more
More about T.A. Barron...

Other Books in the Series

The Adventures of Kate (3 books)
  • The Ancient One (The Adventures of Kate, #2)
  • The Merlin Effect (The Adventures of Kate, #3)
The Lost Years (The Lost Years of Merlin, #1) The Seven Songs of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #2) The Mirror of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #4) The Wings of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #5) The Fires of Merlin (The Lost Years of Merlin, #3)

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