Viva Alpennia! I can only hope there are more tales of this country somewhere between France and Switzerland, a realm of magic, a magic of the MysteriViva Alpennia! I can only hope there are more tales of this country somewhere between France and Switzerland, a realm of magic, a magic of the Mysteries, woven by words and music and gems and the evocation of saints and other powers.
Serafina Talarico has traveled across Europe to study with Margerit Sovitre, the Royal Thaumaturgist, to find a place for her own mystical talents that don't seem to fit in with traditional practices. But Serafina doesn't find a place in Margerit's circle of scholars: she "can perceive, but not evoke, the mystical forces of the Mysteries of the Saints and even Margerit can't awaken her talents." Then Serafina finds a place to stay with Luzie Valorin, a music teacher and composer. In Luzie's music there is power to "rival the Mysteries, and Serafina alone has the vision to guide her talents" (back cover).
Can Serafina help Luzie fulfill her ambition to "write an opera on the life of the medieval philosopher, Tanfrit?" (back cover). Can this opera release the sorcery that has created an "malevolent storm," a storm choking the mountains in ice, preventing the life-giving spring waters from flowing down?
Jones' world-building is deft and sure and complete, as are the characters that inhabit this world. While reading the first two in the series does help in understanding who the characters are and how they are connected, and Alpennia's magic works, this novel does stand alone.
Riordan fans won't be disappointed. The well-researched and thoughtful use of Norse mythology, the fast-paced adventure, the wit and humor between theRiordan fans won't be disappointed. The well-researched and thoughtful use of Norse mythology, the fast-paced adventure, the wit and humor between the characters and with the running joke of popular culture--it's all there. What I note especially is the character of Alex who is gender fluid and able to change from one gender to the other, as is her/his mother, Loki.
Hallelujah! Well done. I know there will be kids who will see themselves in this character, as there were, I am sure, kids who recognized themselves in Nico and Will, two gay characters, and Apollo, a bisexual character. This matters.
Thanks for a great story and thanks for the diversity....more
Harry Potter fans, once they get used to the play script format, won't be disappointed--well, I am not sure. There are a lot of plot holes, wSpoilers?
Harry Potter fans, once they get used to the play script format, won't be disappointed--well, I am not sure. There are a lot of plot holes, which has been pointed in many online sites, so I am not going to elaborate on them here in this short review or rather, meditation.
This is what happens after the end of the last book, when Albus, Harry and Ginny's second child, goes off to Hogwarts. Albus is grappling with being the child of a famous man, and the "weight of the family legacy." And Harry, with work, his family, his marriage, life, after. And then, his scar begins to hurt again, which is impossible, right? Hermione, the Minister of Magic, doesn't think so, but ... Albus becomes best friends with Scorpius, the son of Draco Malfoy AND Albus is NOT a Gryffyndor: he's Slytherin ... And Harry and his son are having father-and-son issues... the Malfoys have their own past with which to contend...
Complications ensue. There is a quest. Good and Evil will be in conflict.
This is a page turner, with twists and turns, and ups and downs, and I didn't put it down. About love and family and friendship and the past's continual shaping of the present. Can one indeed escape the past?
Besides the plot holes and questions, I was disappointed in that Rowling seems to suggest that Albus and Scorpius might be heading in the direction of more than friends, but then she backs off. The sexual tension is evident. Surely, now, she can take that risk.