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The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist

by Kamilla Reid

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A child who does not feel loved, who does not feel like she fits in learns that there is a bigger destiny for her. She finds herself on a journey of self discovery, she tries to find out who she is, where she came from and what her future holds. She faces many challenges that come with growing up, about learning to be who you are and being alright with that, about making hard choices and learning that life is not always fair, about learning what true family means. Root learns about working with other people and about the power of friendship but that friendship isn’t always easy. And the relationships are written well and have the ring of true and reality. Though friends they don’t always agree or even like each other very much. There is jealousy and vindictiveness among the friends and the between the teams. Like there would be with any group of teenagers. But it isn’t just a coming of age story it is also an adventure story. There are dangers, conspiracies, riddles, magic, monsters, the fight against evil, redemption. You can feel the characters fear, apprehension and excitement. And the mix makes you care about the characters and keeps you turning the pages to find what excitement they will encounter next. Reid writes with vivid descriptions like ‘as if someone had taken a brush, dipped it in liquid marble and spread its exquisite alabaster brilliance up along each ornate spindle’, or ‘Carblotta, on the other hand, was lank and scrawny as a dried up bean, with spindly arms and legs that dangled from her body like crooked branches’ so you can really see the world she has created. I love the way she using language. It is written with a lot of humor and interesting words you don’t see very often like hoarked, flocculent, or gewgaw or an unexpected turn of phase like ‘evening decided to show up in a black starless gown’, or ‘Root released her breath content to acknowledge the collision of coincidence’, that made it a lot of fun to read. Reid has created an interesting concept that takes place in an interesting world full of interesting characters that you can really get involved with. There are more books to come so even though Reid does bring this chapter in the story to a satisfying end there are many things left unexplained and many questions left unanswered. But they are all things that Root herself does not have the answers to and you can look forward to learning them along with her. ( )
  bedda | Mar 28, 2010 |
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

When I received this book in the mail I was immediately drawn to it. It looked like a fun book to read. Well, my intuition was right and I loved this book!

This is the story about a young girl named Root. She was brought to our world by someone from another and had to live with two grotesque women named Carblotta and Octavia. They reminded me of the aunts in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl. Well, these aunts wanted Root to be their servant girl. When Root is fourteen she finds out that she is from Dre'amm, a land that is magical and is also troubled, and is to go on the greatest quest there ever was.

She and two others, the studious Liam and the charismatic Dwyn, make one team of many who have to see if they can find the Miist of Kalliope. There are six miist, so only six teams will win.

Root is a very well-written character and is very likable. She is smart, kind, and lovable. The boys on the quest have many layers. Liam is studious and, because he was raised in Dre'amm, very informative. He is also very loyal. Dwyn, like Root, was raised on Earth. He is also learning about how to be a good friend and is not what he seems to be.

While on this quest we learn along with Root and Dwyn the history of Dre'amm and also what magic they possess. We learn about hovermutts, road, chorm, simps, and many other awesome creatures. There are also villains here that are fantastic. You really want to hate them. Kor is just plain mean and is very cocky like only the rich can be. The main one, though, is Korkus, who is a powerful magician who is trying to take over Dre'amm.

There are also many questions that haven't been answered yet about this world and about Root and Dwym. I believe that there is more to their stories than meet the eye. There should be at least five more stories written in this series and I will be first in line to find out what happens to Root. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
“It began in the lower left foot of the Cradle, a curving leaf of opulent design. As if someone had taken a brush, dipped it in liquid marble and spread its exquisite alabaster brilliance up along each ornate spindle, each detailed sun and moon and star that embossed the long surface of the railing, each luxurious baluster thickly detailed with angelic children. And when the entire Cradle was a radiant glow of gold and pearlescence, a sheer white veil of light drifted from an unapparent point overhead and draped over it.”

(”The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist” pg 6)



When you’re searching for a new book to read, authors and publishers have only a few things they can do to influence whether or not you pick up that book. One is the cover art. I’ll admit, after picking up “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” that it is hard not to compare it to Harry Potter. Think about it: three kids in cloaks- two boys (one with red hair and one with dark brown) and one girl, a giant castle in the background surrounded by a creepy forest and maybe a lake, with a large bird with red and yellow feathers framing the picture…. But I understand what they were going for. Essentially they’re saying, “hey if you liked Harry Potter, you’ll like this book!” Guess what? They’re right! Anyways, another factor in whether or not you’ll buy a book is the title. In this case, “the Questory of Root Karbunkulus” really stands out and I think it works well. (Although can I say it is a pain to type it out each time!!)

As for the writing, at times I was struck by the detailing. The excerpt above, for example, is strikingly beautiful. It reads like poetry. This is what creative writing teachers strive to bring of their students....

To see the rest of my review, and an interview with the author, please visit my blog. ( )
  Kegsoccer | Aug 26, 2008 |
Imagine, if you will, a world of fantasy filled with such things as Chorm, hovermutts, Simps, magical potions, talking grave stones in the shape of the deceased’s heads, a Sea Wraith and evil beasts. This is the world of DreAmm. A world in which Root Karbunkulus finds herself in after suffering years at her “Aunties” beck and call. Root is excited to leave her “normal” world behind, to discover what this new magical world holds in store for her. Never did she imagine, however, just how great of an adventure she would find herself on.

After being taken to The House of Gub, along with several other orphans, Root befriends Lian - son of Lord Blick and a Nodmin (one who has always lived in this magical world). It is not long before the children are all informed of the Quest that they are about to embark upon and further divided into teams of three. The first item to be found is the Miist of Kalliope - a powerful potion, of which there are only six. With hundreds of teams and only six possible winners, the Quest heats up. Much to Root’s relief, Lian is on her team, as well as Dwyn - another orphan. The three decide to call themselves The Valadors, after a winged creature that seeks its true Self in the calm of the storm.

After the children are paired with new life long companions, their Hovermutts, they begin their journey. Not an easy journey from the beginning, Root, Lian and Dwyn are tested several times over. As they discover the magic they are gifted with, they must learn to rely on their inner courage and trust one another. The race to find the Miist is on as is the race to stay alive.

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus is a fabulous story. Highly engrossing and addicting, from page one. Filled with rich fantasy and magic, it will engulf the reader within the world of DreAmm and not release it’s hold until the very last page. I loved the characters and was very drawn to Root. A child who once lost all hope in her young life, discovers the magic and wonder of a world she never knew existed. There are so many fun elements within this story, from the clever hovermutts to the wonderful usage of palindromes, The Questory of Root Karbunkulus has it all - fantasy, intrigue, suspense, friendship and fun. Geared toward ages 9 -12, this is a perfect story to envelope children within a world of reading. As an adult, myself, I can say that this is also a story to extend that age range and reach an ageless audience.

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item 1 - Miist, is the first in a series of six books. As each book comes to a close, a new item will be discovered and another team eliminated. I anxiously await the next installment and cannot wait to see what adventure is in store for Root, Lian and Dwyn. ( )
  ajpohren | Jul 29, 2008 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my glorious mum. Root lives because of you. And to my sweetest Puffaluff, Tylor. My constant reminder of joy. Lubby! M.T.I.!
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“Someone’s coming!”
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(from the back of the book) "Rest assured, this is no ordinary treasure hunt. Each and every one of you will face inevitable hardship and danger. Most of you, despite your magic, will fail. But among you, from the depths of despair, will rise heroes! Indeed, the victors of this, Dre'Amm's greatest Quest, shall earn a seat in the throne room of Legend!" The final mote of Lord Blick's speech rang like a distant bell of old, conjuring images of majesty and greatness.
Root marveled in the moment hardly imaginable. Only yesterday she was living with her boorish aunts in a half puce, half orange house and now here she was in a strange and secret land of old, not only an invited participant of a magical Quest, but apparently she was magic, too, although she had yet to see evidence of that.

She surveyed the others, hundreds of vying teens, most of which were alreadu magically trained, and felt fear course through her veins. But it rode the back of something much more fierce that demanded she stay... The race of a lifetime is about to begin... On your marks... Get set... Go!
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Kamilla Reid is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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