Published: 26 December 2014
Publisher: Serano Press
Category: Fantasy/Middle Grade/Adventure
When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons – good and bad – and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie – for that is what she prefers to be called – finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog – stones of enormous power – and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly. Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship.
Rating: 4 Stars
If a book is about dragons, particularly one with such a lovely cover and in which the dragons are not constantly being hunted, then I’m going to pick it up!
What I liked about Jorie and the Magic Stones is that it reminded me a little bit of The Chronicles of Narnia. Jorie is sent to live with an aunt and while there discovers a pathway to magic and adventure, much like the Pevensies when they stumbled through the back of a wardrobe.
Jorie and Rufus, her new friend that lives next door to her aunt, must find the bravery within themselves to complete their mission. When they become a part of the world beneath the Tarn, a fantastical place with dragons of goodness and wickedness, they discover that Jorie must find three powerful stones in order to save the good guys (*cough*DRAGONS!*cough*).
Dragons are fun to read about, no doubt from this corner, and I appreciated how they weren’t all the bad guys in this story. When they’re all being slain, I get sad because dragons are amazing creatures and I for one would like more stories about them. A.H. Richardson wrote their story, combined with that of a little girl from another world, in an entertaining manner that made the book a good one for bedtime stories. A chapter or two a night and both my son and I were wanting to know what would happen to Jorie, to Rufus, and to the Three Stones.
Jorie and Rufus learn quite a bit in their journey, both what the world is capable of holding and what they themselves are capable of. Nine-year-olds being asked to save dragons sounds insane, but they follow their adventure with more intensity than I’d imagine possible for someone that’s only a few years older than my son.
This book was, as I said, a good one for bedtime stories in my house, but I think that middle grade kids could read this on their own as well as anyone that enjoys middle grade stories. There’s a touch of innocence and fantasy that appeals to the child in everyone, whether or not they’re in Jorie’s age group or not.
I received a copy of this book from the publicity agent in exchange for an honest review.