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THE CHIMERA’S CURSE by Julia Golding

THE CHIMERA’S CURSE

The Companions Quartet, Book Four

By Julia Golding

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5440-3
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

In the final installment of her timely eco-fantasy quartet, Golding uses clear, calm prose to portray grave magical and environmental threats that will absorb her readers without spooking them. Connie’s haunted by nighttime visits inside her mind from Kullervo, an evil shape-shifter who left a dark place inside her during a previous encounter. Preparing to meet him, she disobeys the Society’s ban on research to read up and confront Kullervo. The author paints this cognitive and psychological interaction in flowing abstract images that are easy to visualize. This series is unique in the way it sketches broad dangers—vast pollution and the end of humankind and both real and mythical animals (who are real here)—in a tranquil style of prose that’s unlikely to frighten readers but is helpful for seeing environmental analogies. At the end, with Kullervo gone, Connie transformed and friend Col suddenly recognizing new feelings for Connie, the narrative cleverly shifts the source of danger to keep its grounding in magic while unnervingly matching real-world weather phenomena. Intelligent. (Fantasy. 9-14)