“THE BLACK SHARD
By Victoria Simcox
Have you ever dreamed of living in a magical land of fairies, serpents, gnomes, and other fascinating characters? Even better, what if this land also has talking horses, a Seeing Crystal that shows the Wizards where whatever they want to see is, and a handsome prince that seems to think you’re pretty awesome? If you’d like to journey to such a place then come along with me to Author Victoria Simcox’s latest MG/Tween novel, THE BLACK SHARD.
My favorite characters, Kristina Kingsley and Prince Werrien, from THE MAGIC WARBLE, the first book in the series, are back with more adventures, intrigue, and surprises. While attending a riding camp for girls, an accident lands Kristina in Bernoven, where she met Prince Werrien two and a half years earlier. Davina and Hester, the bullies that do their best to make Kristina’s life miserable, are also there. Kristina has no idea what happened, but she’s happy seeing old friends, along with new ones. Everyone is not friendly though. Some want to harm Kristina, and her courage is soon tested, along with her trust in Werrien.
Like Kristina, I enjoyed renewing acquaintances from the first book. Davina and Hester are just as mean to Kristina as ever. Prince Werrien is two years older, as is Kristina, and their romance is hesitant, and tender, and just right. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy, prince or commoner, that made you feel like a princess? The little girl, Jabela, stole my heart. Besides characters that come to life, Victoria Simcox, has a way of bringing the reader into the setting, making you feel as though you’re with the characters, feeling the waves toss the ship up and down, hearing the wind whistle around you. Or visualizing the image in the mirror and shuddering. Black-and-white sketches throughout the novel provide just the right touch.
As much as I liked the first book, I think THE BLACK SHARD is even better. I wasn’t ready for the story to end and hope the next book in the series will soon be out. I recommend Ms. Simcox’s novel for fantasy lovers, adventure lovers, and everyone that enjoys a good read with a touch of danger and a gentle romance. And you don’t have to be a tween to read it; adults will enjoy Kristina and Werrien’s story, as well.