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The Ruby Kingdom by Patricia Bow
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The Ruby Kingdom

by Patricia Bow

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Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

Amelia is very upset. Her parents have taken jobs in Peru and she has to live in the small town of Dunstone, Canada. She has to live with her grandmother, Celeste, and her cousin, Simon. Amelia believes her cousin is dull and boring, and to be stuck in a small town is the worse thing that has ever happened to her.

The first day in Dunstone she meets Simon's best bud, Ike. They go exploring and see something strange, a blue light, in the gorge by the town. That night, Amelia dreams about flying through the sky and ends up waking up in the attic of her grandmother's house. She goes out on the roof and meets Mara, a tall beautiful girl. Mara is strange but quickly becomes Amelia's best friend -- to the chagrin of Simon. But Mara is not who she seems and is being stalked by an assassin.

A lot of adventures happen over the span of about three days, bringing Amelia closer to her cousin and a lot happier in her own skin.

This story was a quick read and very interesting. I really liked the small town of Dunstone. It felt like a place I would like to live. It had town festivals, which seemed fun, and a lot of caring people. I loved the theme to this story about accepting one's self in life and that being strong is not just in physical attributes but in your character. Many teens try to be other people and put on disguises. It was refreshing to have the main character accept who she is. I'll be looking forward to book two by Patricia Bow, THE PRISM BLADE. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
Amelia Hammer must go live with her cousin, Simon, in a small town in Ontario while her parents take off to Peru for work-related reasons. Amy, a city girl, at first does not take kindly to the simpler life in a tiny town but soon events prove to be more interesting that Peru ever could be. Ammy finds a peculiar red ring which seems very special to her. Then later one evening Ammy and Simon find on their building's roof a very tall, pale woman with very long hair wrapped around her naked body sitting in the winter's blizzard cold. At first she doesn't talk much but after sheltering her in a store room they learn she is called Mara and not from this world. Her brother has sent an assassin after her and the teens find themselves right in the middle of the action.

This was one of the better YA fantasy novels I've read this year. The contrast between the city teen and the small town teen showed that real teens come in all sorts of temperaments. The dialogue was realistic and the book was very well written. The plot was gripping and very exciting to see it unfold with a big surprise reveal towards the end. The book ended nicely, wrapping up the plot points in the novel, yet leaves an opening for a sequel to continue with the characters. I have nothing negative to add as I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of fantasy, magic and other worlds. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 7, 2008 |
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Book description
Mountains, travel, adventure Amelia Hammer wants it all. Instead, her globe-trotting parents have dumped her in tiny, boring Dunstone, Ontario, in the middle of winter with her grandmother and her geeky cousin Simon. Simon isn't having much fun either, saddled with a sulky stranger in black leather and with neon hair. And he has to be nice to her.

But life in safe little Dunstone turns dangerously exciting when Mara comes to town. Amelia is enchanted by this tall, proud, fearless girl, but Simon worries that Mara might be mixed up in something weird. Hes right. Mara is not what she seems, and neither is the shape-shifting assassin whos tracking her. When the cousins take Mara's side in a war for an alien world, Amelia has to spread her wings literally and Simon must find out how far he will go to save a cousin who has become a friend.
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Mountains, travel, adventure - Amelia Hammer wants it all. Instead, her globe-trotting parents have dumped her in tiny, boring Dunstone, Ontario, in the middle of winter with her grandmother and her geeky cousin Simon. Simon isn't having much fun either, saddled with a sulky stranger in black leather and with neon hair.And he has to be nice to her. But life in safe little Dunstone turns dangerously exciting when Mara comes to town. Amelia is enchanted by this tall, proud, fearless girl, but Simon worries that Mara might be mixed up in something weird. He's right. Mara is not what she seems, and neither is the shape-shifting assassin who's tracking her. When the cousins take Mara's side in a war for an alien world, Amelia has to spread her wings - literally - and Simon must find out how far he will go to save a cousin who has become a friend.… (more)

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