Thursday, February 27, 2014

Of course she couldn't save the world. She was only eleven years old.

After reading the beginning to Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee, I thought, "I should give up all other genres and just read middle-grade fiction." 

Here's an abridged version of how it begins:
In the end the Queen was nothing like she was in the stories the Marvelous Boy had been told, first as a child beside the hearth and later by the wizards. There were no claws. No sharp teeth. She was young. Her pale hair dripped over her shoulders. She opened her blue eyes wide and smiled sweetly at the King.
"I do not like him, my darling," she said, not once raising her voice. "I do not like him one little bit."
"I should like him locked away," she said.
She really was very cruel.
The boy did not struggle as he was led to his room. He had struggled already. Three times since the wedding he had tried to run from the city, and three times he had been returned.
"You have failed in everything you have set out to do," she said when they were alone, just the Marvelous Boy and her. "I do not know why the wizards chose you, such a poor, sorry thing. Why did they think you could defeat me?" She did not pause for his answer. "And this charm that is bestowed on you so that I cannot harm you - it is nothing but an irritation. When the charm has worn off, I will run you through with my sword."
She said it very pleasantly, as though she were talking about marshmallows or afternoon tea.
"I will find the sword," the boy whispered. "And the one who will wield it." 

It's an awesome beginning.

You can read a preview of the book for free on amazon. You can also listen to a clip of the audiobook.

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard, our heroine, loves science and is grieving the loss of her mother. She and her sister Alice move to a new city where their father takes a job in an unusual museum. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a forgotten room.

Can Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy save the world?
"Of course she couldn't save the world. She was only eleven years old and rather small for her age, and also she had knock-knees. Dr. Singh told her mother she would probably grow out of them, especially if she wore medical shoes, but that wasn't the point. She had very bad asthma as well, made worse by cold weather and running and bad scares." 
Yet. Perhaps. Maybe.

I'll be giving away a copy of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy on Friday, March 7th. Leave a note in the comments to be included in the drawing.

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