Dear Fellow Reader,
ALERT – this book is not an adult book. This book is for Grades 3-7.(ages 8-12)
Why? Why did I read this book? It caught my attention and perhaps I was trying to avoid reading a book for my book group. (No…. that can’t be true) I was given an advanced copy of this book for my unbiased review.
While I have not been in third grade for a long time, I do remember having a reader that was not very motivated at that age. I really had to search to find something that would be interesting to him. I think that this story would have worked but it might be more interesting to a girl because the protagonist is a girl.
As the story of Marabel and the Book of Fate opens, Marabel is about to turn 13. She is a twin and she is a princess. Her twin brother, Marco, is the definite star of the family. He is going to be the future king and receives better treatment than Marabel. She doesn’t seem to mind as she knows he will be the king. Marco is a nice guy who gets along well with people, a trait that Marabel has not quite mastered. Even though she is a girl, Old Lucius gives her sword lessons. The lessons are hidden from her parents because girls shouldn’t learn sword fighting. She enjoys those lessons.
At the big birthday party for Marco and Marabel – really for Marco – Marabel sees something odd. She sees a woman slip around the security line and go into the party. She tells security but they don’t pay much attention to her. Then, just before the big birthday moment, a spell is cast on the crowd and Marcus is taken by the King’s sister. Mab was banished to the Desolate Barrens, the kingdom next door, after she and her brother had a disagreement about who should lead the kingdom.
Marabel decides that she needs to go to get her brother back. Ellie, her faithful servant announces that she has to go with her. While leaving the kingdom secretly, Marabel and Elie are joined by Floriano, the talking unicorn. They encounter many new and magical creatures on their way to rescue Marcus.
As you can tell, this book is a fantasy. I liked it. I would say that the King (Marabel’s father) treats her poorly through the entire story. She is not given credit for anything she does until Mab gives it to her. That part is a bit bothersome but it works out. I would have wanted a different ending but that is not to say that the ending isn’t good.
On the good side, it does show that while Marabel does not fit in with the other princess’s very well that she is strong and courageous on her own. She doesn’t have to fit in to be a good person – that her personality is perfect for what she needs to do.
Thanks for reading!