Durham’s debut follows Elly, a 12-year-old elf who, after being tricked by an evil goblin, finds herself trapped in the human world. Without family or friends, and with only a magical book as a guide, Elly tries to survive in modern London. Resourceful and wise beyond her years, she rises to the challenge thanks in part to several human and some animal friends that she makes along the way. In order to return to her home world of Alendria, she needs to repair the broken portal between the two worlds. To do so, she must track down a rare form of blue amber. During her stay in the human world, she finds that though they have many differences, elves and people also have a lot in common. Her eventual return to Alendria, however, is not as joyous as she had hoped; her world is in danger. To save it, she’ll be required to return to the human world and undertake a new quest. The characters—both elf and human—are well-crafted and believable. Elly’s story generally moves swiftly but sometimes drags when Elly returns to Alendria and plays the role of passive listener as she learns from her elders about the grave danger facing her home, details which serve only as setup for a potential sequel. Also unrealized in this book, but hinted at, is Elly’s reunion with a long-lost twin, a character who makes a few appearances in this book even though she has no bearing on the plot. While Elly’s school, Arvellon Academy, shares a lot of similarities with the well-known Hogwarts, the novel itself proves to be original. Black-and-white illustrations accompany the text.
A sedate, detailed adventure of two worlds.