"An engaging fantasy. A most worthy and enjoyable entry in the ‘feisty female’ fantasy genre,” said Kirkus Reviews.
Don't miss The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice.
Unwanted at home, Molly becomes a humble scullery maid for the King of Westria. She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret: She sees visions that always come true.
In time, Molly begins polishing the castle's fine silver pieces, which include one priceless royal treasure: the king's great ceremonial hand basin. But whenever she touches it, the silver warms beneath her fingers and the bowl's designs swirl into a vision that only she can see. A dreaded curse has befallen each generation of the royal family—and now it threatens the handsome Prince Alaric.
Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse. Could a less likely champion be found to save the Kingdom of Westria?
A versatile and inventive raconteur, Stanley (Bella at Midnight) nimbly weaves intrigue and fantasy into this richly layered story set in medieval times. Sent to work as a scullery maid at the castle, high-spirited Molly bids farewell to her mother, who tells Molly that she has inherited her ability to see visions predicting the future. She also gives her daughter a necklace that Molly's silversmith grandfather had "put some good magic into," which she predicts Molly might need. Polishing an intricately patterned silver hand basin belonging to the king, Molly hears a voice urging her to "Listen!" and she sees in the bowl scenes from the past, including one depicting the bowl's creation by her grandfather, who was forced to bestow on it curses that have plagued the royal family. With crisp pacing and enticing end-of-chapter teasers, Stanley gradually reveals the intriguing story of the curse, which Molly must break in order to save a kind prince who's the sole surviving direct heir to the throne. That task and the Molly's rescue of the prince are relayed with suspense and some unanticipated plot spirals. Ages 10 up.
This is a wonderful, smart adventure with just the right amount of action, magic, heroism, and humor! Loved it!