Review Blog

Aug 07 2014

The crystal heart by Sophie Masson

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Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857982070.
(Age: 13+) Recommended for girls who enjoy romantic fantasy. Fantasy. Fairy Tales. Forgiveness. Conflict and peace. Sophie Masson has again used the scaffolding of a traditional 'fairy tale' to create a magical story that explains the rescue of the Princess of Night from her imprisonment in the Tower by a noble young man. In true fairy tale style, love blossoms between the two - the royal prisoner and her humble rescuer, viewed as a traitor by his own countrymen. In a series of Parts/Acts, the story takes the pair on a journey through magical and conflicted lands and eventually to the peaceful settlement of long-held animosities.
The heritage of the Princess means she is half-fey (her magical powers though have been stifled by her imprisonment) and in her possession is a magical crystal heart which awakens in the course of her rescue. There is darkness and light, love and vengeance, forgiveness and a future of hope and peace woven through this fantasy for teenagers. The appearance of goblins and house domevoys (benign goblins) and a smattering of magical spells is sufficiently sporadic to prevent the book from becoming too fanciful, although a healthy suspension of disbelief is still necessary.
Although this is not 'classic literature', it is an interesting weaving of a classic fantasy into a strong narrative driven romantic quest. The narrative is told through the voice and perspective of the two main characters, giving the opportunity of knowing the motivations of both of the protagonists.
Carolyn Hull

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