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.
THIS IS A SEQUEL-SEE MY REVIEW OF THE FIRST BOOK HERE
The story starts with Kristina at a summer horse camp and due to varying circumstances, she once again finds herself in the magical land of Bernovem. She'll see old friends and meet new ones, all the while exploring her feelings for Werrien and embarking on another magical adventure.
This book focuses a lot more on the relationship between Werrien and Kristina. I feel as if the story of the Black Shard took a backseat. However, that's not bad because I thought the romance was adorable! It was just one of those awkwardly cute romances where you just can't help but go "aww!". Ya know, you have all the "does he like me" moments and insecurities and the trying to look good for him but it wasn't annoying. It was sweet and cute and I just wanted to hug them XD
Also, I like the new story and how it flows smoothly with the previous plot and makes a good transition for the next book. There are a few developments that I was shocked about and it definitely keeps me interested enough to see what happens. This book deals with many issues young boys and girls face today. Insecurities, problems with friends and bullies, crushes and deceit. A good story with a good lesson.
My only problem with it would be the inconstancies in the writing. Let me explain. In the first book, the two characters were younger, Kristina was 12 and Werrien was 14 and the writing reflected this. The writing was descriptive, but geared towards the more MG level. In this book however, Kristina is 15 and Werrien is now 17. However, the writing was like its predecessor. It was still very much MG, but had a few more complicated words and touched on some tougher issues (mention of a suicide and underage drinking though just a sentence). My problem is that the characters are older, yet I had a hard time imagining that due to the writing still being geared toward the MG level. I understand because the author would still want to write for the younger audience who read the first one, but for me it sometimes bugged me. Did I let it bother me too much? No, because overall the story was a fun adventure. I just didn't dwell on the age of the characters too much :)
This book was such a cute book with good lessons. The romance was adorable and the adventure was fun. I enjoyed meeting new characters and exploring the new world (I really wish animals could talk!). It was a fun and enjoyable adventure that I think younger readers will really love. But don't think its not enjoyable for us older readers out there! I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that other readers who pick this up will too.
All the best ♥
Part of my Sophomore Challenge