Review Detail

More complications for an intricate world
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
While Horace and Chloe are refining their own powers in regard to their Tanu, we meet April, who has found an odd piece of jewelry that seems to give her the power to understand animals. The piece seems broken, and when Isabel shows up claiming that April needs to find the other part of it, April doesn't blink before packing up and agreeing to travel to Chicago with her, especially since she has a run in with one of the Riven. Horace finds out more about his mother's involvement-- she is not a Tanu'ji, but a Tuner. She can play on harps, but none of them bend to her power. Horace also meets Brian, who has been living in the Academy for three years and can fix or create magical implements. April and Isabel are having a lot of problems making it the short distance into the city-- they have Joshua, a young boy with excellent directional abilities, with them, but he breaks his leg. To complicate matters, Mr. Meister can sense that April and her group are coming to meet them, and the rest of her Ravenvine is in Horace's possession. Whenever he puts it in his box, it disappears for a while, freaking April out. Eventually, the two groups meet, and secrets about Chloe's past are revealed, as well as more details about the involvement of Horace's mother. The Riven are still a threat, Isabel is perhaps more evil than she is good, and the Tanu are still in jeopardy from their fading power source.
Good Points
The magical objects in this series are so intricate and convoluted that there is a glossary at the back of the book-- and I had to consult it several times! Readers who like the complicated worlds of Tolkien, or who have memorized all of the spells in Harry Potter, will enjoy making their own Tanu out of household and craft items and recreating scenes from this book, while coming up with their own Tanu and working themselves into future plots. Sanders must have masses of notes in order to keep everything straight!

While we learn a little more about the Riven and why they are trying to get the Tanu back, the new characters of April and Isabel are added in a very interesting way, and I enjoyed the fact that we aren't entirely sure if Isabel is good or evil. I'm not sure she knows herself! I'd be very interested in learning more about the Mazzoleni Academy and seeing what the Keepers can do to keep the Mothergates from running out of power. Certainly Mr. Meister will be very helpful at finally putting the threat of the Riven to rest!

If you get these books for your favorite readers, make sure that they are accompanied by a small harp, some yarn, and several fun objects that can be made into Tanu!
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