The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item 1 - Miist by Kamilla Reid
From the back of the book:
“Rest assured, this is no ordinary treasure hunt. Each and every one of you will face inevitable hardship and danger. Most of you, despite your magic, will fail. But among you, from the depths of despair, will rise heroes! Indeed, the victors of this, DreAmm’s greatest Quest, shall earn a seat in the throne room of Legend!” The final note of Lord Blick’s speech rang like a distant bell of old, conjuring images of majesty and greatness.
Root marveled in the moment hardly imaginable. Only yesterday she was living with her boorish aunts in a half puce, half orange house and now here she was in a strange and secret land of old, not only an invited participant of a mystical Quest, but apparently she was magic, too, although she had yet to see evidence of that.
She surveyed the others, hundreds of vying teens, most of which were already magically trained, and felt fear course through her veins. But it rode the back fo something much more fierce that demanded she say…
The race of a lifetime is about to begin…
On your marks… Get set… Go!
A child who does not feel loved, who does not feel like she fits in learns that there is a bigger destiny for her. She finds herself on a journey of self discovery, she tries to find out who she is, where she came from and what her future holds. She faces many challenges that come with growing up, about learning to be who you are and being alright with that, about making hard choices and learning that life is not always fair, about learning what true family means. Root learns about working with other people and about the power of friendship but that friendship isn’t always easy. And the relationships are written well and have the ring of true and reality. Though friends they don’t always agree or even like each other very much. There is jealousy and vindictiveness among the friends and the between the teams. Like there would be with any group of teenagers. But it isn’t just a coming of age story it is also an adventure story. There are dangers, conspiracies, riddles, magic, monsters, the fight against evil, redemption. You can feel the characters fear, apprehension and excitement. And the mix makes you care about the characters and keeps you turning the pages to find what excitement they will encounter next. Reid writes with vivid descriptions like ‘as if someone had taken a brush, dipped it in liquid marble and spread its exquisite alabaster brilliance up along each ornate spindle’, or ‘Carblotta, on the other hand, was lank and scrawny as a dried up bean, with spindly arms and legs that dangled from her body like crooked branches’ so you can really see the world she has created. I love the way she using language. It is written with a lot of humor and interesting words you don’t see very often like hoarked, flocculent, or gewgaw or an unexpected turn of phase like ‘evening decided to show up in a black starless gown’, or ‘Root released her breath content to acknowledge the collision of coincidence’, that made it a lot of fun to read. Reid has created an interesting concept that takes place in an interesting world full of interesting characters that you can really get involved with. There are more books to come so even though Reid does bring this chapter in the story to a satisfying end there are many things left unexplained and many questions left unanswered. But they are all things that Root herself does not have the answers to and you can look forward to learning them along with her.