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The Crimson Orb Paperback – June 12, 2014
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About the Author
Joyce Hertzoff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the City University of New York, and spent forty-five years in the scientific information publishing business as a translator and indexer. For twenty years, she was a manager of other scientists and watched as the business evolved from the printing of paper journals to electronic processing and production. After retiring in 2008 and moving to the southwest with her husband, she left scientific writing behind and turned her efforts to fiction. She participated in the National Novel Writing program for the first time that year and has continued with the program every year since. She is a member of Southwest Writers and Writers Village University. Her short mystery, Natural Causes, appears in the anthology The Darwin Murders and a fantasy short story, Princess Petra, will be included in the anthology The Way Back.
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The fun begins on page one, when our heroine, Nissa, sitting and petting her cat whilst (jealously) watching her brothers practice swordplay, is joined by Holm Manor's wizard, Madoc. Need I say more? A girl who yearns to master the sword, and wizardry? And probably some rapid beating of the young heart along the way? And pesky sisters, too? Yes, you've got it.
By the end of Chapter One, I'd learned the difference between magic and wizardry and that, even in Nissa's world, girls haven't been allowed to do the same things as boys. Bah! But is she going to put up with that? I think not, would you? The story of Nissa and Master Madoc, the wizard (and more), was definitely my favourite part, and central to the story. When Madoc goes missing, the quest begins.
Ever wonder if a wizard is a such a good wizard, why he can't free himself when the baddies get him? Yeah, me, too. Now I know; I think that was somewhere along about Chapter Twenty-Four.
By the end of Chapter Forty-Three, I'd learn how to turn a skirt into wide-legged riding britches, who didn't make it across the Frozen Tundra, where the Crimson Orb was (but how to get it???) and what the swamp inhabitants were doing with it. But it wasn't over yet…there was still a final chapter to go. And a sequel promised for 2015.
This is a lovely book, an otherworld story well told and with a myriad of interesting details that make it all the richer. I can't fault it (I get fussy about typos and this book is very well edited, I'm happy to report) and I'm pleased to be gifting the kids with it. Hertzoff's writing is eminently readable, it's cleverly written, brings in lots of different, interesting topics AND the dialogue moves the story along particularly well. There is a great cast of characters and always lots going on so it's a great attention-keeper.
Now I'm off to order the paperback for the kids. Two thumbs up for Nissa.
As they search for Madoc, others are searching for the Crimson Orb, a magic item that does ...something. No one is certain but the legend of what the orb can do grows as does the lust of those who want it to gain power.
As their search takes them far to the north, the grow in both experience and in character, find out about themselves and others in their world around them. Some of what they learn is happy, other lessons are sad.
This is a great start to what promises to be a fun series for the younger set. It's filled with excitement but also things that you can learn at the same time you enjoy NIssa's adventure.This is also a book that you can give an older child without worrying about inappropriate content..I recommend it highly for anyone who likes to "go walkabout."
Even though Nissa wound up assigned a lot of female type tasks, Ms. Hertzoff used those as a jumping off point for Nissa to learn and to do more. An enjoyable read.
Joyce Hertzoff did a wonderful job developing the characters and giving us plenty of people to cheer and several to boo. I liked this story a lot and can't wait for the sequel...which I hope will be soon.
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