THE NIGHT OF THE SOLSTICE by L.J. Smith

THE NIGHT OF THE SOLSTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Four California children foil an invasion by evil magicians from another world. Claudia, the youngest Hedges-Bradley, is beseeched by a talking vixen to bring her brother and sisters to the old house on the hill. They learn that the vixen is a familiar of the sorceress Morgana, for centuries the guardian of the only passageways into Findahl, the Wildworld. Morgana, however, has disappeared, just as the winter solstice approaches--the only time when passage between the worlds can be made without a magic amulet. The vixen convinces the children that they must search for Morgana, to prevent the most powerful and evil of the Wildworld magicians, Cadal Forge, from invading and enslaving earth. Despite scoldings by the police and their parents, the children concoct magic amulets and pass through mirrors into the Wildworld. There, they win the aid of some of the inhabitants and avoid the dangers of others, rescuing Morgana just in time to destroy Cadal Forge and close the passageways. Although the plot sounds jaded, the book is not. The children are individuals; the twists and turns are believable and entertaining; the narrow escapes are suspenseful, and the end brings a sigh of relief that good has prevailed. Next-to-youngest Janie, the brains of the team, solves the puzzles and outfoxes the riddler. This is Smith's first book, an impressive debut. The scene has been set for a sequel, to be anticipated with pleasure.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
ISBN: 141698965X
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: Macmillan