TEN THOUSAND CHARMS by Leander Watts

TEN THOUSAND CHARMS

Age Range: 11 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

As he did in Stonecutter (2002) and Wild Ride to Heaven (2003), Watts returns to the 19th-century Genesee Valley of upstate New York with another dark story laden with ominous characters and gothic imagery. Exiled from Schatzburg, the improbable King Ivars and his three daughters immigrate to America, “the land of ten thousand charms,” where they move into an abandoned homestead associated with an evil curse. Ivars’s loyal daughter, Thea, toils to keep their frontier home together as her impractical father tinkers with his books and charms. They befriend Roddy, a young apprentice at greedy Mr. Queed’s ropeworks. When Thea is pursued by Scalander, a dark creature who threatens to kill Ivars unless Thea consents to become his “midnight bride,” Roddy and Ivars must rally to save the day. Images of witchcraft, crows, haunted woods, midnight nuptials, omens and curses effectively create a sense of impending doom. However, lean character development and scattered plot leave the reader a bit unsatisfied and even confused. (Fiction. 11+)

Pub Date: May 2nd, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-44897-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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