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The Star Shard

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  32 reviews
This beautifully written fantasy tackles the issues of slavery and freedom.
Twelve-year-old Cymbril is a slave on Thunder Rake, a gigantic wagon city that rolls from town to town carrying goods to be sold by its resident merchants. The Rake’s master purchases a new slave, a mysterious boy named Loric who is one of the magical Fey. Because he can see in the dark, Loric’s dut
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review may also be found on A Thousand Little Pages.

I am not much of a Middle Grade reader. You could say that I sort of skipped a step in my reading repertoire while growing up, jumping directly from children’s books like Magic Tree House to YA like The Hunger Games. Maybe I should go back and fill in that gaping MG hole now, because The Star Shard exceeded expectations.

I was waiting for simplicity and frankly, not much depth. This is a MG faerie fantasy after all. Plus, I admit that my op
Dec 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
From a high level, The Star Shard could be summed up as a fairly typical adventure book set in a medieval fantasy world. However, it differentiates itself in many unique and intriguing ways.

First of all, the setting is unique. Rather than dealing with our standard rolling hills, plains, mountains and forests, most of this book is set in the moving wagon city of Thunder Rake. The Rake is essentially a HUGE wagon that literally contains an entire city upon its back. The exact dimmensions aren't gi
The other John
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
Ah, what can I say about The Star Shard? Shall I tell about Cymbril, the enslaved chanteuse? Or perhaps the exotic sidhe child, Loric? The wise and mighty Urrmsh? The loquacious Byrni? The dark Eye Women? No, I guess if I'm going to hold forth on The Star Shard I must begin with the Thunder Rake. Ah, the Rake. The setting for this tale of captivity. Think of a traditional marketplace, with all its sights, sounds and colors. Pack it all up on a large ship, put the ship on wheels, supply the ship ...more
Jan 15, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: books-i-own
The Star Shard has a special place in my heart. I used to receive the Cricket magazine when I was younger, and I still own the magazines that carried the short story version of "The Star Shard" to this day. I loved the story when I read it in Cricket. I look forward to reading the book version to see how the story has changed, but still retains the familiar aspects of the characters I loved. :)
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting children's fantasy novel.
Nicholas Ozment
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a long-time traveler in the wonderfully imagined worlds of Frederic S. Durbin, I grabbed hold of this book with relish. It is geared toward younger readers than are most of his other works (although he has been a contributing author to CRICKET Magazine for many years, where an early version of this story initially took shape), yet it does offer many pleasures for an adult reader of fantasy.

In tone and "reading level," I suppose it should be shelved alongside the Narnia chronicles, L'Engle's
Posted on Book Chelle.

I don't read many middle grade books, but this one caught my attention. On occasion, I keep a look out for books geared towards the middle age group. I have many relatives and friends who have young ones, and it's always nice to give them a heads up.

Frederic S. Durbin's The Star Shard is a fairy tale among fairy tales. The world is full of fantasy and wonder, perfectly fitting for this fairy tale. I was surprised at the amount of detail that went into Durbin's world. He wen
Shanshad Whelan
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, fantasy, mg
Cymbrel has been a slave aboard the great moving merchant-city of Rake almost her entire life. In possession of a spectacular voice, her merchant master makes good use of her to entertain people and and pull in crowds to buy and sell goods. But Cymbrel is unhappy in her slavery and yearns for freedom. When a strange Fey child is brought aboard the Rake, a slave much like Cymbrel, she finds a possible ally and a way to at last escape her chains.

I think I liked this book more than I expected to.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book reminded me of the magic and excitement I felt when I first discovered the fantasy genre after reading Jackaroo and On Fortune's Wheel by Cynthia Voight. While the premise is nothing alike - in fact I think the Star Shard is much more inventive - the magic to fall in love with a specific book genre is wrapped up in this book!

The premise of the world of The Star Shard is amazing. The main character is a slave on a merchant vessel. However, it is not an ordinary wagon but a city
Kat Heckenbach
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I admit that I didn't get into the book right off. I read the first couple of chapters and wasn't sure I wanted to continue.But I could not leave the book sitting. Something pulled me back over to it, and I picked it up again. So glad I did!

This book is...unique. The Rake is a traveling city, moved forward by the rowing power of giant creatures. With levels and is hard to imagine, but the author pulls it off. There is magic and mystery, and a touch of young romance. And dark. There we
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Cymbril is twelve and a slave. She sings for the travelling market that she calls home. Audiences are captivated by her wonderful voice, but she longs to be free to walk down the street and go where she would wish.

A mysterious boy is brought to the master of the large barge-like market full of merchants. He is to help navigate in the dark, for he can see in the dark. He is of the fay, a magical thirteen year old boy named Loric.

Cymbril and Loric become friends and find they have things in common
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not sure how I found out about this book, but when I saw that one reviewer noted that this story had been serialized in Cricket magazine, I immediately put it on my list. I read Cricket avidly through college (when my parents stopped paying for it - sob!) and figured that it must be good! Once I started reading I realized that the setting of this novel is really what makes it tick. You can read lots of descriptions of the Thunder Rake (a rolling city!) elsewhere, but suffice it to say, the Rake ...more
Sharon Tyler
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Star Shard by Frederic S. Durbin is a wonderful fantasy novel for children around eleven to fourteen. However, older and younger children, and adults, can enjoy this book as well. It is due to be released on February 28 2012. The story follows twelve year old Cymbril, a singing slave on board a traveling city called the Thunder Rake. The city is essentially a traveling market on a giant wagon city, hiding more floors and rooms than even its residents know. When another slave is brought on bo ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amara Luciano
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rating: Special Shelf
Source: NetGalley

my thoughts in a few sentences: I've found myself with another spectacular read, you guys. In the same week! An engrossing, fascinating tale that is as imaginative and reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki's beautiful stories, including Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, The Star Shard is a wondrous fantasy read that reminded me why I adore the genre so much and granted me characters I was surprised, but thrilled, to love.

Full Review on My Blog »
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a enchanting book that will take you far away to a land where darkness and magic run rampant, and wisdom is found in the strangest places. Crybril is a slave on the Rake, a giant city that drags itself across the world like colossal flea on the hide of the earth. Cymbril could be happy, she is treated better then most slaves because of her beautiful singing voice, but she does not have the one thing that every caged songbird longs for. She does not have freedom.

I highly recommend this b
Brandy Painter
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
The Star Shard is a book with faeries, magic, and a large moving market town known as the Rake. Good stuff. The beginning is a little slow on the action front which may turn off some young readers, but there is plenty of action and excitement in the last half of the book. I enjoyed reading this one and would certainly recommend it to lovers of faerie lore and stories of orphaned children with magic.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Extremely enticing book. The setting, a magical,mammoth rake is exceptional. So are the characters - the slave child's emotions are beautifully portrayed, consumed by curiosity as well as a trusting, innocent loyalty developed towards her captors are true to life. And yet the ending was too easy.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
THE STAR SHARD IS IN STORES TODAY!!! This wonderful story began as a serial in Cricket Magazine and is now at last a novel. I have been waiting a LONG time for this to become a book. It is one of the best books I have read. Let me know what you think when you read it too.
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
The words "adorable" and "imaginative" come to mind when thinking of this book. It was refreshingly different from any other fantasy book I've read. The main characters are so likable and the author paints a beautiful picture of this world where magic and myth are real.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Such a good book. I felt like there were some open ends (view spoiler) and would love it if there was a sequel. But it's a great read by itself.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this YA novel read an early advance, Thought it was good.
svyatoslav zaytsev

This book is great!!!!although it could have been longer
Also, this book would do good for 3rd and 4th graders
Misty Tedibea
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
Needs a Sequel. Too many unanswered questions!
Mink Tedibea
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012-2013
Note to Self:
Needs a Sequel. Just a thought though~
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
more girl oriented lord of the rings.
Viola Sung
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and mysterious. :D
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored this book--I just wish it was longer! It felt like the first few chapters to a much longer book to me. Nevertheless, beautifully written and told :)
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very Cliche but very cute, definitely for younger readers.
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