Friday 19 July 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox


Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.


The Black ShardThe Black Shard by Victoria Simcox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the second book in a fantastic series for middle grade children. I loved it!

Kristina Kingsly is a wonderful character. I really liked her when I met her in The Magic Warble. She is full of spunk and is braver than she realises. When she finds herself back in Bernovem, she is very happy, but danger lurks around the corner!

This is a fantastic sequel to the The Magic Warble. Once again, I found myself being transported to the magical land of Bernovem. I loved meeting up with some familiar faces, especially Werrien. I also loved meeting some new ones too! I missed these characters, I must say! There is something about them that has captured my heart! Although, I must admit that I have no love for Sentiz - she is her usual creepy, cruel self!
I also have no love for Hester and Davina either - they are bullies, pure and simple!
I did have one quibble with this story. It didn't seem to have the intensity of the first one. The danger was strangely distant. However, this doesn't mean that the story wasn't good - it was. It just means that the reader got to know the characters a bit more, as they journeyed to the land of Tezerel. There are also some fantastic drawings that depict specific scenes in the story. These drawings are extremely well done and show the characters and situations exactly as I envisaged.
There is a twist right at the end of the story that I didn't see coming, and it left me gasping in disbelief! I am now wanting to read the next book in the series to find out what happens next!

Victoria Simcox has written an amazing series of Children's adventure books that will enchant young readers. Her writing style is fast paced, but not overly so as to feel rushed. Her attention to detail with regards to the description of the characters, scenery and clothing is exceptional. I could "see" them so clearly in my minds eye!

I think this series is aimed at girls, but I recommend this book to everyone (adults included) who love fairies, gnomes, dwarves and talking animals in their fantasy novels. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


Chap 7,  The Irgul, Excerpt

“What do you think of these fabulous outfits?” Davina said in a
dramatic voice.

“I think they’re okay,” Kristina said, but she, like Hester, felt
awkward in them.

Another knock came at the door. “You may enter,” Davina said,
while bowing to her reflection in the mirror.

It was Elzwur again. He opened the door slightly and peered
through the crack between the door and the wall. “I am waiting to
take you to the kitchen,” he said impatiently.

The girls quickly hurried out of the room, and followed Elzwur.
Davina kept in her distinguished character, holding her nose up high
and sauntering with long strides.

 A gnome house maid passed by them carrying a large vase filled
with flowers, and zooming in and out of the flowers were two female
fairies, one with light blonde hair, and the other with tawny brown
hair. They were busy arranging the flowers when the blonde fairy
took notice of Kristina. She pulled at the other fairy’s arm, and then the two of them flew over to Kristina.


Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Columbia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way.


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