The Carrefour Curse

The Carrefour Curse
Age Range
Release Date
January 31, 2023
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Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.

But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden.

Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?

Editor review

1 review
Uncovering the Family Secrets
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The opening hook will grab young readers with its grossness. The scene finds young Garnet in the back seat of her mother’s car, regurgitating frogs into a bucket! The chapter goes on to reveal her mother’s reluctance, maybe outright defiance, to return to Crossroad House, the place where she grew up. This fact establishes a conflict and will make readers wonder what’s wrong with the family. On the other hand, Garnet has always wanted to visit Crossroad House but isn’t aware of her mother’s reasons for staying away. Maybe Garnet shouldn’t have sabotaged her mother’s plans.
The plot keeps readers wondering about the identity of the actual antagonist. Grandfather Jasper has lived longer than expected and is able to absorb the life force from others to continue living. Garnet experiences his power on her first day at Crossroad House. But then, there’s the house itself that has magic of its own. It won’t let anyone tear down a dangerous, damaged section of the property and now it won’t let anyone leave. Garnet experiences events from decades before that she attributes to the house’s power. Finally, a stranger summons Garnet to the cemetery and tells her some things that are hard to believe. He says he can help but Garnet isn’t sure if he can be trusted or if he’s dangerous.
The plot unfolds like a mystery as Garnet tries to understand her family and the danger surrounding Jasper’s transition. She hears stories of relatives and others who’ve suddenly died or disappeared on the property and an uncle dies while she’s there. Almost all of the relatives feel fear and anger toward Jasper and some of them silently wish he would die. Jasper says they’re ungrateful and don’t understand what he’s done for them which makes Garnet even more determined to uncover the truth. Jasper seems to be the obvious villain but is there more going on here than meets the eye? Why can’t his transition of power and death occur smoothly as with so many ancestors before?
What didn’t work as well:
There are many family members living in Carrefour House resulting in many names to remember. However, only a handful are critical to understanding the plot so readers will need to figure out which ones to focus on. Garnet and Ash are probably the two most important characters with others enhancing the story.
The Final Verdict:
This book is quite entertaining with the creepy house and energy-sucking patriarch at the center of the conflict. The blend of elemental magic with twists thrown in elevates the problems derived from broken family dynamics. I recommend you give it a shot.
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