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Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic, Book 2) Hardcover – August 1, 2011
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Praise for Thirteenth Child
"The intricately created alternate reality, suspense and memorable characters will leave you eagerly awaiting the second book." -Buffalo News
"[A] riveting fantasy." -Children's Bookwatch
"I plunged in and couldn't put it down until I had finished." -Tamora Pierce
"The world-building is effortless, flowing natrually through Eff's conversational narration." -Kirkus Reviews, starred reivew
"A rich world where steam dragons seem as normal as bears, and a sympathetic character in Eff, who has been scarred by the belief that she is evil." -Publishers Weekly
"Wrede's characters and understated but complex... and the world-building is generously spiced with political and magical mysteries, perils, and conflicts." -Horn Book
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Top customer reviews
Eff has grown up a lot- she's now in her late teens through 20- and she's coming into her own self and perspective. She is far less wracked with the self-doubt she showed in the earlier book, and is even more determined to find her own way through the complications of family and work, along with discovering what path she really wants to follow for herself.
She also has an insight into her techniques of doing magic that makes her a stronger and more subtle user.
Eff is a wonderful protagonist. she's strong, brave, responsible, and sensible, without being at all snarky or stuffy. Her independent-mindedness grates on some members of her family, to their mutual annoyance, but she handles it generally with tact, though she does not lack a temper. I must say, I very much enjoyed reading about a heroine who is finding and making her own path, but without being a snarky rebel (fun though they can be at times!).
I love the world, too. It's definitely alternative! Not just because of the magic, but the history has similarities and differences, as does even the language. The magic makes intuitive sense, as do the 3 different main schools of addressing it (Though only 2 are described in much detail here, the third causes a major plot point).
I liked this book so much that I began on the third in the series immediately after finishing it- and I seldom do that!
Definitely recommended, but start with #1. Keep in mind, though, that as Eff matures she becomes a lot more interesting.
If you liked the first book, I do recommend continuing to follow the journey, for its a good read, holds your attention, and is a good relaxing exploration into cultural american history.
As to this addition to the series, if it's possible, I actually like Across the Great Barrier better than the first, which is atypical to most fantasy series. I like that the story doesn't focus on one single issue, but meanders around, similar to how regular life would go. Eff is a lovable character who you route for, and she always feels very tangible, making decisions that seem in character, and someone who comes across as a very real person.
Lindsey Miller, Lindsey's Library
The world building is wonderful, the story is very interesting. I highly recommend this novel.