Friday, October 11, 2013

The Shard by Victoria Simcox-Review and GIVEAWAY

The Black Shard 

The (Black) Shard (2)

By Victoria Simcox

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

 Published Nov 2011
Pages: 255

Publisher:Two Harbors Press

View on Goodreads

Summary:  "Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the "Black Shard," Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known."

 Review:  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.
 Almost 4.5 stars!

About the Author:
Victoria Simcox 
Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Columbia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way.
 The Giveaway
The Author has been very kind, and in addition to the honor of reading this book, she is offering up 3 Ebook copies of her book!  
No cheating!  Winners entries will be verified.  Any false entry means disqualification to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading my copy of this - particularly as you said it is geared a little older. I really enjoyed The Magic Warble, but it was definitely difficult for me to get into it at first as it's been a loooooong time since I've read books for that general age group. In any case, great review and you've rekindled my interest in getting into the sequel!

    1. You have the sequel already? Sweet! Hope you like it. :)

  2. This looks good - I'm glad it's geared to a slightly older audience! Not sure about the cliffhanger, though... ;)

    1. It was a nice change. Made it that much more interesting. Victoria Simcox is working on the next book. Hopefully it will be done soon so I am not left hanging.

  3. looks like a fun one for my niece! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

    1. If she reads it, I hope she enjoys it. :)

  4. My daughter would enjoy this book. I know someone in real life with the name Hester...not a name you come across often.

    1. No Hester is not a very common name. That is for sure.


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