It’s rare that I review children’s titles anymore, but this latest release from Tracy Barrett promised an escape-read getaway that managed to bring that childlike wonder to an adventure to get lost in. Please read on for my review of
Marabel and the Book of Fate
Marabel and her twin, Marco are the eldest children of the King of Magikos: but while Marco is seen as the “chosen one” as predicted by the Book of Fate, she is almost universally ignored. Not pretty, not girlish, not even particularly friendly with the princesses from other lands, Marabel thrives on her fencing lessons with Old Lucius, her time with her best friend and ladies maid Elle, and wondering just why she’s got no apparent role.
But when on their thirteenth birthday celebration Marco is kidnapped by Marabel’s exiled Aunt, Mab, and the kingdom is given 13 days to make peace or face war, Marabel is determined to rescue her brother and end the chance of conflict. Aided by her best friend Elle and Floriano – a snarky talking unicorn, the three set off on an adventure to cross the wall that separates their kingdom, dividing the non-magical lands that Marabel’s father rules from the Barrens – a land to which all magical creatures (but for a few in the zoos) have been banished.
Clever, fun and completely engaging – I think that Barrett managed to balance that wondrous magical sense with plenty of references to many different and familiar fairy tales, adding instances of today’s technology (Flitter, Game-Boy like games, etc.), and keeping the adventure and dangers clearly available. With a solid sense of ‘doing what needs be done’ even when scared, Marabel’s consistent determination and worry about her brother, and her honest interest in all of the magical creatures that they meet along the way, the story reads quickly and keeps readers interested. Plenty of self-discovery as the story continues: finding the will to move on, recognizing all of the challenges met and conquered, and a true ability to listen and bring agreement between parties that seem at odds all show Marabel at her best, defying the lack of recognition and esteem she holds at home. A great title for grades 5 – 7, when something just fun and unique with references that feel familiar is just what is needed
Title: Marabel and the Book of Fate
Author: Tracy Barrett
Genre: Action / Adventure, Middle Grade Fiction
Published by: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published on: 6 February, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Free-spirited Marabel must defy expectations to rescue her brother--and their kingdom.
In Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate's ancient predictions, including the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the realm. Princess Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, who everyone assumes is the true Chosen One. While Marco is adored and given every opportunity, Marabel is overlooked and has to practice her sword fighting in secret.
But on the night of their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, and Marabel runs to his rescue. Outside the castle walls for the first time, accompanied by her best friend and a very smug unicorn, Marabel embarks on a daring mission that brings her face-to-face with fairies, trolls, giants--and the possibility that all is not as it seems in Magikos.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.