Monday, January 23, 2012

The Black Shard, by Victoria Simcox

Late last summer I reviewed The Magic Warble, by Victoria Simcox and was thrilled with the storyline, the characters, the setting, and the plot. Ivy loved it too and could not wait for Victoria's sequel to come out. She asked me several times if Victoria had emailed me that the second book was out. Well. It. Finally. Happened.

The blurb:

The Black Shard, Victoria Simcox’s fast-paced, intricately woven sequel to The Magic Warble, takes Kristina Kingsly and her schoolmates back to Bernovem … and into a thrilling, often dangerous adventure.
Kristina’s stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it’s all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester’s cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it’s actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can’t refuse.
Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends … and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn’t get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the “Black Shard”, Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it’s in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.

The Review:

When we opened the box the first thing we noticed on the cover is how much older Kristina is. And that's as it should be. She is fifteen now and back to her regular life. Kristina is headed off to horseback riding camp. Only one problem. Davina and Hester from The Magic Warble will also be there. Did I mention how mean they are? The three  find themselves back in Bernovem and the quest begins. Prince Werrien (can anyone say romantic tension) is there and so are the dwarfs, fairies, and the gnomes. We are introduced to new characters too. Whew! This story is fast paced with super fantastic description, lovely characters, and unexpected surprises. The way she sets up the scenes amazes me. There is just enough back story so that anyone could join in, but I recommend that you read the first one. Why not start this beautiful fantasy story where it begins? And I feel I must say something about the plague. No! I won't. It's hard to write the review without giving away the plot. But I want you to visit this world as we did. Unaware of what might happen. Surprised with all of the twists and turns we take in this magical world. The world building is awesome. Awesome!!!!!!!! Did I say romantic tension? Very innocent. Very sweet. 

Just to whet your appetite here is an excerpt from chapter one: The summer horse horse-camp experience was not turning out the way Kristina had hoped it would have. The fact that she went along with
Davina Pavey, the seventeen-year-old girl with the maturity level of a twelve-year-old, should have been a big enough red flag warning her not to go, but it wasn’t. In this case, the flag could have been the size of a barn
door, and it still wouldn’t have mattered, because Kristina’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kingsly, were the ones who made Kristina go in the first place.
They were tickled pink, to say the least, when their daughter was invited by Davina’s parents to go with Davina to the Tranquil Trails Horse Ranch, to participate in a week-long stay at a teen-girl riding camp. Unfortunately, the Kingslys just happened to overlook one minor detail; Davina and Kristina
could hardly stand each other. 

And here is what Ivy had to say about The Black Shard: 

It's AWESSSSOOOMMME! While reading series books, most of the time the second book is never as good as the first one. But Ms. Simcox! The Black Shard lived past my expectations. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good! No wait. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesomely awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The surprises you had for us in the book were like picking up a rock and finding a diamond instead. I only have one question: When is book three coming out??????? You are the most awesome (published) :-)writer in the world. I love your world. Just think how lucky you are. You get to spend your days in that world. Every day! Thank you Ms. Simcox!

So there you have the expert opinion of an eighth grade girl who loves Victoria Simcox more with every book she writes. :-)

Wanna buy this lovely book?  Just look at that cover! Isn't it inviting?

My Book Orders

Thanks for reading. Special thanks to Victoria Simcox for making a certain fourteen-year-old girl very happy! xoxoxoxo


  1. Lovely review! I have a certain eighteen year old as well and I just know she would be so happy reading this story!

  2. Wow! How can I resist, when you're so excited about this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I love a good magic book--and I haven't heard of this one! Thanks Robyn!

  4. I'd have to say Ivy gave it two thumbs up!

  5. Great review! That cover is amazing.

  6. That was great! And when an 8th grader has that glowing a review, it's got to be good. :)

  7. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for the review. I'll have to take a look at the first one.

  8. Always enjoy learning about new-to-me authors.

  9. Sounds like a great read! Magic, horses, what's not to love? :)

  10. Ooh, that does sound good! Thanks for sharing with us!

  11. Great review. The book sounds awesome and the title too is a winning one.

  12. Thanks, amigo, for the review! Can always count on your insight and advice. :)

    Have a wonderful day!
    Hugs and blessings,

  13. I am so reading both of those. I almost gaveup trying to write an MG with fairies in so if I read those I'll know once and for all if mine should just be a short story or something. They sound fab! Cheers lovely!


Leave me a note! :)