The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

Published by Simon and Schuster.

 

A book aimed at the 10+ market, written by a twenty eight year old and all about fairies? – Clearly this was not going to be a book for a forty year old male crime fiction buff, right?

Wrong.

I really enjoyed this break from the normal stuff I’d grab off the shelf.  It wasn’t the fluffy fairy story I thought (and feared) it might be.  It was filled with some pretty dark material and some scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror novel if cranked up a notch – but, for the age range intended, still likely to get the hairs on the neck standing to attention at times.

I, for one, will ensure that no hairs are left on the brush in the morning before I set off to work (I will say no more here).

In fact, when my copy arrived, I checked and found that my ten year old daughter had already bought a copy herself and was about halfway through.  So, a couple of late nights ensured I got to the end before her….. (bad parenting? – Nah, just encouraging her to read is all).

It’s a tale of murder, missing persons, replacement of young children with ‘changelings’ and some of the nastiest little critters going under the name of fairies that I can recall since the evil little tooth fairies in the Hellboy 2 movie.

In style, and some of the content, it put me in mind of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart or Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s The Spiderwick Chronicles, with the central character of fourteen year old Tanya discovering a whole new world around her and the secrets contained within her own family that is a driving force behind the fantastical events.

Now to grab a copy of the second book in the series (for yes, like all good fantasy, it comes in a trilogy form), The 13 Curses, and get that read before the soon to be published closing chapter, The 13 Secrets, hits the bookstores.

Keith B Walters

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