Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Pages: 349
Date: 13/12/2011
Grade: 4+
Details: First in series

Sarah Miller is an unremarkable young woman, working a job she doesn’t like and continuously held back by her domineering mother.
When she sees an elderly woman being attacked by two junkies she does the unthinkable and intervenes. For reasons she doesn’t quite understand herself Sarah accompanies the woman, Judith Walker to her home and when they find the place ransacked, Sarah offers Judith a bed for the night in her own house. An offer which has devastating consequences for both Sarah and Judith.
With her dying breath, Judith asks Sarah to deliver a bag containing a broken sword and papers to her cousin, Owen.
For Sarah the nightmare has only begun though. People are desperate to get their hands on the sword, and will do anything to get it, and soon Sarah finds herself having to kill just to stay alive.
Because what Sarah has been asked to look after is one of the Thirteen Hallows, ancient artifacts which protect the human world from demons who would destroy it.
For centuries the Hallows have been kept and protected by keepers whose duty it was to always keep them separate from each other. Now somebody is determined to reunite the Hallows and unleash devastation on the earth, and he’s getting close. He has killed nearly all the keepers, has collected nearly all the Hallows and will stop at nothing to complete his deadly collection.
Sarah and Owen find themselves in charge of a power they don’t understand and can’t quite believe in and facing an enemy far stronger and more ruthless than they are.
As they slowly learn more about the Hallows, about their heritage and their destinies it becomes clear that their lives will never again be what they used to be or what they expected.

This is a thrilling story. With short chapters, lots of action and even more cliff-hangers, this is a true page turner.
The book is rather full of, at times rather descriptive, violence. However, since we are dealing with demons and those who would consort with them, it makes sense for the story to be dark.
I was fascinated by the story of the Hallows, their history and the characters playing a role in that past and liked the way it was revealed slowly, both to the reader and to the main characters in the book.
I would have liked to learn a bit more about Sarah and Owen. They were described in so little detail that they stayed a bit vague for me and I still can’t quite picture them.
However, this is the first book in a series, and it had a lot of other background information to share, so I hope that our two heroes will be further developed in subsequent books.
I would add one warning to this review though.
A lot of people may be familiar with or even a fan of Michael Scott because of his “Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series, which is aimed at teenagers. This is on the other hand is very much a book for adults. If you are, like me, one of those adults who couldn’t wait for the teenager in your life to finish their copy of "The Alchemyst" and its sequels so that you could read it yourself, this is definitely a book for you.
Finally I would like to remark on the physical beauty of this book. The cover is gorgeous and tactile while the pages of the book are printed in a beautiful and story-fitting font.

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