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ELISSA’S QUEST by Erica Verrillo


Phoenix Rising, Book One

by Erica Verrillo

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: June 26th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-83946-7
Publisher: Random House

Elissa, age 13, wonders who her parents are. Nana, midwife and healer in the Valley, tells her nothing. Elissa keeps secret her Gift, which is to speak to animals and have them talk back, especially Gertrude the donkey. But when her father, Lord Falk, appears suddenly, and she discovers the name of her dead mother, and the Khan wishes to add Elissa to his harem of wives and concubines, she finds herself thrust from the green valley to the desert. A younger girl, Maya, becomes her servant and her companion. The Blue People, desert dwellers, protect them, and Elissa in turn saves the people from the Khan by drawing on the power of the earth and the understanding of the animals. There is not a lot compelling in either plot or characterization, and the story comes to an end rather than a climax, waiting for the next installment. (Fantasy. 9-12)