Spell the Reader's Curse with Featured Author Thaddeus Nowak
Melinda T. Falgoust
and nothing to read?
A curse for the ages
For those who turn pages.
But, worry ye not
O lover of books.
has you, not forsook...
Okay. So maybe my spellwork's a little more glitchy than witchy (Where are Piper, Prue and
Phoebe when you need them?). And maybe this spell won't break the reader's curse (that horrible situation when readers can't find anything to read and resort to reading the toothpaste tube). But, author Thaddeus Nowak has picked up the magical slack for readers searching for an engaging and entertaining YA fantasy read in his book "A Mother's Curse".
The book opens with a spell. No, not a spell of the "double, bubble, toil and trouble" variety. Rather, Mr. Nowak has a magical ability to immediately draw his readers into the setting - a grand old castle and keep, a land at war, and betrayals from unlikely places. The reader can almost smell the stone dust from the crumbling brick work and almost finds herself squinting with the young heroine, Stephenie, as she strains her eyes to read in the last clutching rays of light.
Then comes that spectacular explosion - you know the one. It happens when the witch throws the last vital ingredient into her cauldron and a flash of brilliance erupts and releases a cloud of smoke. That's exactly the sort of magic Mr. Nowak conjures as the reader discovers something is rotten in the state of Denmark (Whoa. Two Shakespeare refs in one post. I think I just set a personal record. Maybe I WAS paying attention in English Lit...wait for it...nah.) At any rate, you might be wondering why this particular post has taken a such a magical theme. The answer to that is, my friends, that our young heroine, Stephenie, is a...anyone? anyone? Bueller? Bueller? (Dankeschoen to anyone who just got my not-so-obscure '80's pop-culture reference.)
Stephenie is a witch.
In Stephenie's world, being outed as a witch is a death sentence. Yet, she can no more undo being a witch than she can being a girl (though she certainly can knock swords with best of the boys). It is, rather, a curse brought on by her conniving mother. The story explores the ways Stephenie comes to terms with what she is...and after all :
"It is not our abilities...but, our choices that determine who we are."
(Rah rah for Rowling)
I won't go into any further detail so as not to spoil the journey for any interested readers. I will however, recommend this book to anyone with a love of good story, tantalizing detail, and say that it is a definite draw to adventurous, high-spirited young girls. Stephenie is a driven, well-fleshed out character I think they will relate to.
A word of caution. Younger readers should read at an adult's discretion. Perhaps the cover art misled me into a middle-grade mindset. However, this book does contain some mild expletives that caught me off guard.
SPECIAL AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: ASK THE MAGIC 8-BALL
Do you ever wish you has a magical ability? Wish you could sense things like Stephenie? Predict the future? Put on your conical hat and grab your broom, then consult the Magic 8-Ball to amuse your friends with your great psychic ability. (Requires Flash Plug-In)
Magic Eight Ball