Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Keeper of the Crystals: Eve and the Fiery Phoenix

Keeper of the Crystals: Eve and the Fiery Phoenix by Jess Black (New Frontier Publishing)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9781925059441

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Eve and Oscar have become friends and constant companions, after sharing the experience in the desert of Panthor after Eve had summoned the power of the unicorn.

In the second book of the Keeper of the Crystals series Eve finds a tiny crystal phoenix in an Odditorium which once again, leaves an imprint on her palm.
A powered illuminated light appears just before a torrent of water sweeps Eve and Oscar away.

Everything is dark around them. Eve, who loses sight of Oscar, allows herself to be helplessly taken along by the water. Suddenly, she connects with something solid and clings to it.

The force of the water sends her down a river surrounded by jungle on either side. A log with Oscar clinging to it brings them together, and they manage to haul themselves to the bank by grabbing onto overhanging branches.

A tiger confronts them, with the boy Slate close by. The children must find his people’s sacred fire spirit. Its song is what brings the sun up to warm the land of Griffid, the tiger jungle. Eve knows that her magic power has brought her to this place where tigers and people live in harmony together for that purpose.

But where is the phoenix? Eve and Oscar’s quest is to bring the magical bird back to them as soon as possible. It is losing its feathers and each feather dropped starts a fire that destroys more of the landscape.

Can the children negotiate the maze of caves at Merden by following the imprint on Eve’s hand? Will the bird, like its legend, rise from the ashes reborn, to bring the sun back to its people?

This fantasy adventure with magical powers at play is now moving at a faster pace. The question of what Gran has to do with the magic crystals was born in the reader’s mind at the end of the last book, and fed in this one. It has generated an interest that expands beyond the story and a longing to find out what secret Gran is hiding.

Eve and the Mermaid’s Tears is due in October. Full of mystery and adventure, this exciting series is proving to be an addictive read. It is highly suited to the 7+ age groups. It carries subtle environmental themes, addressing the importance of nature and its survival through people, plants and animals living together harmoniously.

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