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The Silver Bowl (Silver Bowl #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,669 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true.

One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome—but also unbearably rude.
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by HarperCollins
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DCL Mock Newbery 2012
24th out of 42 books — 35 voters
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Books with 1,001 - 5,000 Ratings
141st out of 505 books — 48 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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When I finished this I thought what a sweet book! But really, ancient curses, mass murder, ugly family jealousy, double crosses, horrible fathers....
Still sweet, go figure.
Set in feudal times, Molly is 6 years old in a large family that her drunken father cannot support and Mother cannot care for as she is ill. Anne, the oldest daughter takes care of Mother. The oldest son assists Dad. The rest of the kids are farmed out ASAP. When Molly is six, she sees a vision of a neighbor getting hurt. Dad
Feb 21, 2011 Seanean rated it it was ok

Molly has been independent and willful ever since she was a little girl. When she gets in trouble one too many times, her father sends her to Dethmere Castle to be a scullery maid. As she leaves, her mother gives her some good advice: never let people know what you can see.

Molly, and her mother, have the gift of "sight". They can see the future and the past. If anyone ever finds out, Molly could be branded a witch.

So Molly heads out at just seven years ol
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

The youngest in a large, poor family, Molly has never been truly wanted by her father. It doesn't help that she starts developing a strange ability - while playing tag with some of the local villagers, Molly has a vision of a neighbor dying tragically. A few days later, when that vision comes true, the entire village sees her as a witch and a curse - like her mother before her, who has been locked away from the world and called mad by Molly's father, Moll
Nancy O'Toole
May 21, 2012 Nancy O'Toole rated it it was ok
At the age of seven, Molly is sent to be a scullery maid at Castle Dethemere. It’s here that she discovers that she has the ability to see visions, the most disturbing of which appear in a silver bowl. Here, Molly learns about a curse on the royal family she serves, but before she can do anything, the castle is attacked. Molly and her friend Tobias are able to escape with the young prince. Together they must find away to break the curse and keep the prince safe.

The Silver Bowl is one of this yea
Dec 03, 2013 Arashi rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
The Silver Bowl was so cute! I should have recognized it instantly as a work by one of my favorite authors. I found the story sweet and delightful, though its full of danger, wicked curses, and evil family members. Molly is a charming, spunky heroine who is loyal and brave. The story has everything, including a handsome prince, inner magic, and a wicked villain or two.
The action is occasionally a tad passive but mostly delightful with an ending that leaves you grinning.
Perfect for middle schoo
Em - of Everything Books
Just bad. Not even good enough for me to write a full review. Though I will say the reason I probably didn't like it, was because it was for people younger than me.
Nov 15, 2014 Jaina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
This review can also be found on my blog.

After my third or fourth reread, I've decided that this book officially goes on my all-time favorites list. It's got everything I love - magic, royalty, danger, and subtle humor - without falling into any of the tired cliches that characterize most books that involve royalty and magic. In fact, Molly, the kitchen girl, is the MC - not the cute royal prince she rescues. I love seeing her roll her eyes at the prince's clueless-ness in the real world when th
Kathryn Mueller
Jul 13, 2011 Kathryn Mueller rated it it was amazing
What a ride this story is! I had only read the first few chapter when I sat down with it last night, but I literally did not get up or put it down until I had finished it! Diane Stanley writes as though it is historical fiction, which I suppose it is since the time setting (though unclear) is probably during the Middle Ages during the feudal system. Though we have never heard of the countries of Westria or Austlind, we easily imagine them to be somewhere in France, Germany, or Austria many ages ...more
Nov 15, 2011 Pamela rated it really liked it
I'm very happy that I got around to reading this! It's set in a vaguely medieval imaginary kingdom whose royal family seems to be cursed. People dying left and right--and in very strange ways, too. Enter Molly, youngest in a family of too many children, a drunkard father, and a mother most suppose to be mad--or is she? *dramatic music plays*

Stanley's created a spunky heroine who grew up learning how to brawl in the streets, but who has to learn how to hold her tongue when she goes into service a
Audrey Ferrari
Dec 11, 2013 Audrey Ferrari rated it really liked it
To be honest, the beginning of this book is pretty boring. I actually put it down and read two other books before I started to read it again. The only problem I had with this book was the beginning. Once I picked it back up again I realized that the action began right after I stopped! Then it gets good! I don't want to spoil anything but the main character ends up working at a castle as a polisher. There is this curse on the royal family and the main character ends up falling into a silver bowl. ...more
Sep 28, 2011 Phoebe rated it it was ok
Shelves: juv, ya, fantasy
An easy fantasy read for middle graders, not up to the hype, though. Young Molly is a scullery maid at the royal castle, soon befriending Tobias, another servant. Her attention to her work and careful manner soon earn her a new job: polishing the royal silver, overseen by the Keeper, Thomas. The day she begins polishing a very special, precious silver bowl, she hears voices and sees visions related to the terrible curse laid on the royal family. It appears that Molly may be the only person who m ...more
Jake Rideout
Feb 17, 2011 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it
I really liked this book! It's a sweet little fantasy, fairly straightforward in plot and characters. The protagonist is a scullery maid at the king's castle. She hides her ability to see the future because her visions are unpredictable and she doesn't want to be condemned as a witch. But when she sees the death of the entire royal family, which could throw the kingdom into civil war, she knows she has to tell someone.

After that you have the usual sequence of events: a tragedy, two unlikely hero
Oct 27, 2011 Minli rated it liked it
Shelves: mythic, middle-grade
The Silver Bowl is a high fantasy middle grade story with a strong female lead. Now, you hardly ever hear me complain about strong female leads in fantasy. There's a curse put on the royal family that goes back generations, and Molly is prone to visions--both of the past and what's to come.

It was just a little, well, young. I bet I would have loved this book when I was 10 or so. The characters were all good and the curse was interesting, but I compare this to novels like The Thief, and it just d
Jun 07, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it
p good! but like wow the plot twist... why... WHY
Mar 11, 2016 Owlboyle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gsf-2012-2013
"Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a humble scullery maid. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions, and those visions always come true.
One day, while she's working in the king's great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by. Molly finds him unbearably handsome 14but also unbearably rude. But what does it really matter? She'll probably never see him again.
In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is
The Hobbit
Since she was a small girl, Molly has seen visions and heard voices, just like her mother. Sent to the castle to be a scullery maid, the visions continue and always they come true as something awful happens. Member after member of the royal family meets a terrible end. Becoming assistant to the keeper of the royal silver, Molly hears the same voice whenever she polishes the magnificent silver bowl. The voice is pleading with her to help because time is short. She sees a vision of the death of th ...more
Virginia Heart
May 27, 2014 Virginia Heart rated it liked it
The Silver Bowl was an okay read. It follows young Molly on her journey from humble scullery maid to heroine of the kingdom. Gifted with insights into the future and tasked with protecting the last heir to the throne.
The story started out dark and lacking emotion. From a descriptively disgusting vision of a boy dead from the plague to not showing hardly any sorrow when she is forced to leave her family, never to see them again. Though this is probably true to the time period, it was not the mo
Maureen E
Jul 25, 2011 Maureen E rated it really liked it
The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley: Fantastic everyday details, which are always nice, especially in fantasy. I liked the resolution of the plot and especially the way the relationships ended. However, I was confused by the setting which didn't seem to quite know if it was a fairy tale world or ours. I think for the target audience (middle grade) it would be a lovely book; for me it wasn't quite satisfying. But doesn't it have a nice cover?
NewFranklin School
Apr 13, 2013 NewFranklin School rated it really liked it
Shelves: mrs-buck
i think this book was really good this author has a very active imagintation this book is very bloody in some parts but to me that made the book i was hooked the whole time and could NOT stop reading thank you Diane Stanley very much 4 writing such a good book
Michelle Kessler
Mar 22, 2016 Michelle Kessler rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile
I have been wanting to read more fantasy for the upper elementary set, and Diane Stanley's The Silver Bowl and The Cup and the Crown satisfy my requirements for and original plot and complex character quite nicely. The books concern Molly, a girl sold into service to the royal family. As she works as a scullery maid, she learns of a curse on the royal family and her own psychic powers. Determined to save the young prince Alaric, she and her friends plan his rescue and attempt to lift the curse. ...more
Makaela G
This book was a bit slow to begin but gets way better near chapter 8. Well at least that's my opinion. I would recommend this book to someone who likes suspense that's one of the reasons I picked this book. Ta-ta
The Library Lady
Give this to older girls who have loved Gail Carson Levine and like Robin McKinley or Jessica George. It's readable, not pretty-pretty and a sequel or two won't be unwelcome
Oct 07, 2014 Ashlynn rated it really liked it
This book irresistibly brings to mind the words "delightful" and "charming." That's the fussy old grownup way of saying, "I really liked it." The writing style reminded me of one of my favorite books, Ella Enchanted. There's an art of simplicity to MG writing that some authors are excellent at. It appears Stanley is one of those writers. The character voices were strong and clear, the story immersive and interesting.

As I'm not one of those people who can't appreciate books for a younger audienc
Apr 08, 2014 Shana rated it really liked it
My 9 yr old daughter read this months ago and insisted I read it as well. I too read it, was little interested and put it aside until it was time to turn it in to her class. Picking it up again I found as many have noted that it picks up the pace and becomes very interesting. I enjoyed the main characters greatly and the true portrayal of their developing friendship, as well as the magical world created here. Great fun, will look for more by the same author. Nothing world changing, but well exec ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Cheryl rated it liked it
I liked this book until it reached it's climax, and I felt let down. Even so, it was a fun read... a land with castles and royalty, seen through the eyes of an unwanted child who becomes a scullery maid. The royal family is in big trouble, and they're getting killed off in awful ways. But Molly seems to have some kind of special powers, where she foresees these events. In her land, that could get her killed as a witch, so she doesn't exactly advertise it. But can she save any of them? She has a ...more
May 06, 2014 Alicia rated it really liked it
Like most of the scullery maids in the castle of Dethemere, Molly does all the work. She wants to stop a bunch of curses that is being unleashed on the royal family of Westria but she doesn't know how. But when a pack of cursed wolves attack the family, she and Tobias, a groom, manage to save Prince Alaric from a certain death. That was the last straw. So she decides to find out where the curses come from and finds out who put the curses there. Then something happens to make her realize where he ...more
Mar 08, 2015 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
I really thought this was a well written, nicely told tale of adventure, loss, and courage for the suggested age group. It's a nifty little tale that seems well summed up in one book. If you are satisfied with the ending, then do yourself a favor and don't read the next two. Not that they are horrible, but this one leaves you happy and satisfied.

(view spoiler)
Jul 07, 2016 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I try to read books as continuously and as smoothly as possible and unfortunately, my reading of The Silver Bowl was broken up by me heading to a school retreat for a couple of days. Then further readings were marred by my tiredness from said retreat. However, while I think that break in reading did slightly negatively affect my overall thoughts about the book, I honestly don’t think it was by very much.

The Silver Bowl is an interesting book. There are two different tones throughout, which are o
Becky B
Molly is all but a street urchin. She technically does have a home, but her father could care less whether she was there or not. So it isn't too surprising when she gets sent off to the castle as a scullery maid at seven. Molly is a bit rough around the edges, so she mostly gets set to scrubbing the big old pots and pans to keep her out of the way of the gentry. Her one friend is the donkey boy, Tobias. The two help each other out as the years go by, and Molly learns some manners from Tobias. As ...more
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“And I’ll wager you thought him the handsomest thing that ever you saw in your life.”

“I did. And if you stuck him, and stuffed him, and hung him on the wall, I’d be very glad to admire him. But in life he’s an arrogant pig, and I didn’t care for him at all. ‘Mind who you look at, wench.’ Foo!”
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