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Aurelia and the Library of the Soul Paperback – April 15, 2016
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The story follows a friendship between Aurelia Panade, a teenaged heroine who must bravely recover an important legacy fate cruelly robs her of, and Maudline. Maudline is raised by Promulgus, the village villain. He’s bad guy unlike any this reader has encountered in print (his pernicious breath aids him in casting hexes!). His antics make one smile in wonderment rather than grimace in revulsion.
Suspenseful, well-told and heartwarming, Aurelia and the Library of the Soul is set in a timeless village that feels Eastern European (a tribe of gypsies comes and goes). Replete with an intricate plot that is resolved in a surprising, satisfying ending, it is written in pitch-perfect prose that dazzles and never distances. Integral to this “ballet in words” is the clever poetry that springs naturally from the prose. Indeed, the two distinct registers (viz., the gentle voice of the narrator versus the sometimes insistent metered and rhymed verse) create excitement.
The text is in a pas de deux with seven exquisite, collectible color plates by the extraordinary illustrator Rob Rice. This book would make a nice gift, especially for girls ages 9-14, or for anyone who still feels young but isn't.
Great Illustrations! The Incantations and Poetry are thought provoking, giving hints of a way to solve a problem.
I could not put this book down, and will be reading it again.