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StarCrossed Hardcover – October 1, 2010

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StarCrossed + Liar's Moon + A Curse Dark As Gold
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545136059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545136051
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,083,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Though slow to start, this fantasy quickly gains momentum and clarity. Hiding a bloodied packet of letters after their theft turned deadly for her partner-in-crime, a 16-year-old girl attempts to evade the king's soldiers and flee Gerse. When a quartet of "nobs," nobility-class young people, invites her aboard their river boat, she grabs the opportunity. An experienced liar and thief, Digger takes on the guise of Celyn, a girl escaping her brother's ploy to send her to convent school. She is soon drafted as companion to Merista Nemair and accompanies the group to the Nemairs' remote castle. Merista's parents are returning from diplomatic exile following their involvement with Sarists, the losing opposition in a recent war and worshippers of the outlawed goddess of magic. The family hunkers down in the winter-locked mountains to prepare for Meri's coming-out celebration. Trapped in her role as Celyn, Digger is blackmailed into spying for a villain named Daul, a supposed family friend who is actually seeking evidence of treachery and the illegal use of magic among the Nemair. A mysterious wounded man hidden beneath the stillroom, the dangerous glimmers of magic that Digger sees around Meri, and her own growing affection for the people who may be planning a rebellion complicate matters considerably. If readers forgive the difficulties the plot has in taking off, they will be rewarded with a complex and satisfying adventure story and will look forward to its sequel.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Bunce’s William C. Morris YA Debut Award winner, A Curse Dark as Gold (2008), was a fictional retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, and in her second novel, she moves from fairy tales into classical, high-fantasy traditions. In the pulse-pounding start, Digger, a teenage orphaned thief, is on the run after a botched job ends in a violent ambush. Desperate lies help her escape with some young aristocrats, who take her to their remote mountain estate. While posing as Celyn, a ladies’ maid, Digger meets a visiting lord who blackmails her into uncovering dangerous political secrets that implicate everyone. A glossary of people and places is appended, but readers may still struggle to track the densely woven particulars of the story’s intricate world. Bunce combines irresistible elements, though: a snowbound castle outfitted with trapdoors and tunnels; herbal lore and rare, forbidden magic; crackling banter and poetic description; and memorably nuanced characters, especially lock-picking, bold Digger, whose search for clues leads to a larger understanding of history, politics, friends, and families that teens will connect to their own lives. Grades 8-11. --Gillian Engberg

Customer Reviews

I found the story really intriguing and it flowed really well.
Dark Faerie Tales
I am looking forward to reading the second book in the Thief Errant Series, Liar's Moon.
Sunshine Hafner
Overall: Rich world created, lovable main character, and an engaging mystery!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
StarCrossed starts with a bang. Digger, a young thief, has just escaped capture and turns up alone and breathless at the place she was supposed to meet her sweetheart and fellow thief, Tegen. But as she goes over the night's events in her mind, she realizes Tegen didn't get away and is probably dead. Afraid of getting caught herself, Digger takes her first opportunity to get out of the city. That opportunity comes in the form of four teenage aristocrats in a pleasure boat. She gives them a fake name, Celyn Contrare, and a semi-fake life story.

The next few chapters are a bit slow, especially after the tense beginning. Elizabeth C. Bunce uses these chapters to introduce several characters - some of whom go on to play a major role in the book, and some of whom do not (though they may turn up in a sequel) - and to unfold the political and religious situation to the reader. These chapters also explain how a street thief ends up becoming a lady's maid to a young noblewoman, which isn't something that just happens overnight! So, while this section drags a little, I can see why it's necessary and the purposes it serves.

It's when Digger/Celyn travels to the remote northern stronghold of Bryn Shaer with her mistress, Lady Merista Nemair, that StarCrossed truly becomes riveting. A large group of nobles descends upon the castle to stay for the winter, including one Remy Daul, an old friend of Merista's father, who offers Digger a terrible choice between spying for him or being exposed as a thief. Then, the entire party is snowed in. From this point on, it's impossible to put the book down. Everyone at Bryn Shaer has secrets, some of them deadly. But Digger hasn't survived this long without learning to be sneaky and resourceful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Digger, a thief, is running for her life when she unexpectedly falls in with a small group of young nobles and finds herself a job as a lady-in-waiting to the young Merista Nemair. Becoming a servant in the Nemair household and living at Bryn Shaer, a keep far from the city she's called home, is not what Digger wants, but she's smart...and stuck. So she becomes Celyn, and plans for the day when she can make her escape...until Lord Daul arrives at Bryn Shaer and somehow learns her secrets. He blackmails Digger into working for him, against the family she serves. At first, Digger works grudgingly and indifferently, until her poking and prodding reveals a conspiracy far larger than she could have imagined. As a thief, Digger has always had to remain neutral...but this time, she'll be forced to choose sides.

Elizabeth C. Bunce has concocted the perfect fantasy read in StarCrossed--it's exciting, suspenseful, a touch magical, full of endearing and complicated characters, and accompanied with a very real and tangible setting. Though the onslaught of details in the exposition is a little overwhelming at first, it doesn't take long to get settled into the book. The pace is just right, and the plots and subplots play out with perfect timing. Digger is an excellent narrator--she's smart and quick, and her dry sense of humor will keep you laughing. One of the major pitfalls in many fantasy reads today is how anonymous the secondary characters of the book are, but Bunce defies that issue with her excellent cast of supporting characters that are all very memorable and unique, and despite their large number, surprisingly easy to keep track of. Digger's personal journey, from thief to friend, and the mystery and its resulting drama she becomes embroiled in are both gripping and entertaining--StarCrossed is a spectacular and thrilling book that will leave you dreaming long after you've read it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fantastic Book Review on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
STARCROSSED lured me into dangerous webs of Digger's life as she ried to outrun the Greenmen (temple guards of the Goddess Celys but they report directly to the King) after a successful job of retrieving important letters from the King's secretary. As with any fantasy novel, STARCROSSED has plenty of important characters and places that are uniquely tied to the plotline which had me trying to wrap my head around each of the character's motives and beliefs while trying to fit the puzzle pieces together to uncover hidden secrets. As I was reading along, I decided to write out the names and places so I would have the spelling correct, then my list started to look like a glossary. But don't fret! The book has a Lexicon of terms in the back which is very helpful if you have problems following along.

STARCROSSED has a wide range of personalities but the main heroine, Digger is one of those characters you can't help but like. She's led an interesting and danger filled life as a thief. Her unique magical skill has made her a valuable asset in the streets of Gerse. Through her eyes, I experienced firsthand the dangers that shroud her life. She's brave and she's always looking for the next priceless commodity or escape route which had me laughing plenty of times at how her mind works. If I had to sum Digger up, I'd say: She's trapped within a chain of lies and secrets so complex that she's beginning to find out it isn't as easy as her skill at picking locks. Another character that kept me guessing was Dual. I wanted to know, what he had up his sleeve. I also wanted to know what he was hiding and what his ultimate goal was for being at the Nemair's.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Elizabeth C. Bunce is the author of A Curse Dark as Gold, which won the William C. Morris Award for a young adult debut novel and was named a Smithsonian Notable Book; and the Thief Errant series: StarCrossed, A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best book for 2010, and Liar's Moon, one of Kirkus Blog's Favorite YA Novels of 2011. StarCrossed and A Curse Dark as Gold have appeared on Oprah's Kid's Reading List. All three books have been named to the ALA's Best Fiction for Young Adults list, and she is a three-time Kansas Notable Book winner. An accomplished needlewoman and historical costumer, Elizabeth lives in the Midwest with her husband, her dogs, and a boggart who steals books.

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