The Black Shard

The Black Shard - Victoria Simcox This is the sequel to The (Magic) Warble. Victoria Simcox has gone deeper with this book, and it is more geared to ages 13+ and she really steps up the story! It was a nice change to see. This was made easier by the fact that the main character, Kristina, is now 15.

So it has been two and a half years since she was last in Bernovem. It almost seems like a dream. Yet a a summer camp. her horse is spooked and she, Hester and Davina literally find themselves tumbling back into this magical land filled with fairies, gnomes, and dwarves. However, in Bernovem it has only been one and a half years. This was an interesting difference I noted. This puts Kristina's age closer to Werrien. Prince Werrien and has family have been restoring the kingdom and Let me just say "Wow" for such a short time-span, they did a lot and Werrien still had free time to made lots of friends throughout the kingdom! They people seem much more cheerful and happy.

In this book Hester and Davina are still annoying as ever, but as the book progresses, Davina seems to mature and change a bit which is nice to see. One of the royal servants, Elzwur, does not seem to like Kristina at all and was instantly under my scrutiny. Good or bad, he was up to something. We are reconnected with other characters from the first book. Raymond, Looper, and others. Werrien has a lot more personality in this book. Playful, joking and very flirty with Kristina. Very cute to watch the relationship mature between them. It is still set at an nice, slow pace throughout the book and perfectly acceptable for younger readers (for any concerned parents out there).

This book is more mature than the first one. The author has grown the book with her audience which is nice to see. The characters all have more depth and seem easier to connect with. One thing that was more mature was that there is a bit of a 'creep factor' with an Old Hag that Kristina keeps seeing. While not truly scary I can see it being unsettling for a young reader but I thought it was a good addition to the story.

This novel is left on a cliffhanger for the next book! While the first book has an ending this book had me wanting to somehow force me kindle to show me more... So I really hope Victoria Simcox is able to get the next book out soon as I am very eager to read it! This story reminds me of the Chronicles or Narnia on a few levels. So if you liked those books, you will probably enjoy this one! The Black Shard can be read with or without reading the Magic Warble but to truly get into the characters and their history I still highly recommend reading it.

Well done, Victoria Simcox on this amazing adventure! I look forward to your next book. And thank you for offering a copy of your book for review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.