Paperback ARC, 400 pages (Source: Once Upon A Twilight Book Tours)
Published: January 17, 2012 by HarperCollins Publisher
Age group: 8-12 years
ISBN: 0062010077 (ISBN13: 9780062010070)
Rating: 5 stars
Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.
When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.
I’d like to thank Once Upon a Twilight for giving me the opportunity to be on this book review tour.
Now, on with the show . . . er . . . review!
I have to admit that I was a little leery about reading this book because of the age range but I trudged along and slowly got swept away in Zardi’s adventures. I have to say, she was very brave for only being thirteen and I admired her for that. She was a little firecracker and when she set her mind to doing something, she followed through until it was finished. I think back to when I was thirteen and though my life was nothing like Zardi’s, I don’t think I would have followed through with anything. At that age, I was all talk and a big pile of—excuse my French—chicken shit. Another thing I really like about Zardi is that family and friends were her main priority. She’d make sure they were protected instead of worrying about herself.
Next, we have Ridhan. He was a very mysterious boy and I loved how his mysteriousness grew when they boarded Sinbad’s ship. (Side note: I failed to mention Sinbad was in this story. Surprise! We’re introduced to him in the beginning of the story in Arribitha where Zardi and Ridhan and listening to his stories as he tells them to the crowds. When Zardi and Ridhan speak to him after the crowd begins to scatter, Sinbad mentions a land where Ridhan’s people are said to live. This piques his interest and he’s determined to get aboard Sinbad’s ship so they can sail to his home land.)
I could go on and on about this story but then you'd never want to read it because I'd probably end of ruining the whole thing for you so I'm going to leave it at that. If you have children in that age range at home or you want to jump into a different genre for a day, I suggest picking up The Book of Wonders because of the wonderful mysteries written on its pages.