Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing a new MG fantasy, A Sliver of Stardust, by Marissa Burt. Published by HarperCollins, it will hit shelves on Oct. 20, 2015.
Wren Matthews can see magic, at least stardust magic. She and her science fair rival, Simon, both find themselves apprenticed to Fiddlers. A group of Alchemists that use fairy tales and stardust to do magic. Their teacher is Mary, and along with another newbie, Jack, they begin their lessons.
A previous war between Magicians and Alchemists has left Mary exiled. She was the former teacher of Boggen, the alchemist turned magician who betrayed them all. When Wren begins dreaming about Boggen and seemingly trapped people under his dominion, the tables are turned, and Mary goes back to the Alchemist head quarters to warn her people that Boggen might be returning. The only ones that can stop his return are Wren and Simon, but unless they can uncover the mystery surrounding Boggen's previous disappearance, there will be nothing they can do.
Wren Matthews is a strong willed smarty that doesn’t back down from a trial. Only this adventure has her doubting reality and the truth behind old fashioned nursery rhymes. Chapters that begin with seemingly normal, well known mother goose rhymes take on whole new meanings as Wren learns that the magic of Stardust shapes the world. Secrets hidden in old rhymes are actually magical formulas. Her friend Simon is a welcome side kick who is smart and fully capable of keeping Wren challenged. Jack on the other hand, knows way too much, and his character is a little ahead of the game.
Wren’s character will be tried as others believe her to be connected to the old evil and she will need the strength of her friends to make it through her problems. Enter one of the main themes, betrayal. Readers will be amazed at the different aspects of betrayal that the author touches upon, and the many fall outs of the treacherous act.
A thrilling ride with great plot, strong characters and tons of voice that will thrill readers of all ages. 5 Stars!