Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The 13 Secrets by Michelle Harrison

February 2011, Simon and Schuster 
392 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Children's, fantasy 

Fairy magic, changelings, circus, disguises, murder, betrayal, heaps of danger, a little bit of gore and violence, lots of secrets, friendships and love, 

Summary from Simon and Schuster
Red is now living at Elvesden Manor under her real name, Rowan, and trying to put her past behind her. But staying on the straight and narrow isn't as easy as she had hoped… Hounded by fairy messengers who are trying to convince her to participate once more in the changeling trade, Rowan is haunted by dreams of the Hedgewitch's cottage and the chained-up Eldritch, who threatens revenge against her. Her past is about to catch up with her - can Tanya and Fabian prevent it consuming her altogether?

Nayuleska's thoughts
When it comes to reading the last (or any other number) book in the series and you haven't read the rest, there are two results. I either feel lost and confused for most of the book (rarely), or it's as though I already know the characters and what's happened (mostly). I can happily report the latter was the case for The 13 Secrets. It was awesome! Rowan is so much fun. It's clear that an awful lot has happened to her in the past, lots of danger and mystery which she doesn't want to talk about. There are other people who want her to stay silent - for good. For over half the story I was terrified for both Rowan and her friends. She pushes them away a little, and is a total dimwit in thinking that if she keeps everything hidden from them they will stay safe. Her enemies know her weaknesses and play on that. They are evil, sadistic and immoral things. They aren't people because people don't go around killing each other. It's even worse because magic is involved. Magical creatures are included in the attack, and they really added to the tense atmosphere. Although I had to laugh when Rowan's grandmotherr (or possibly Tanya's...I can't quite remember) - whichever it was, having her fend off a magical creature and yelling at it to get out of her house was really funny, and lightened the mood a little. Although the story shortly took a darker turn. 

As well as Rowan, I loved all the other characters. Yes even the enemies, because they gave me the creeps and had me glad that the sun hadn't set. I think Tanya is my second favourite character. She's so torn because she wants to help Rowan, and show that she and Fabian are there for her, but she doesn't want to ruin their friendship. She always acts with Rowan's best interests at heart. When the final showdown happens involving Rowan, when Tanya turned up I tearing up. I teared up at the epilogue too. I figured out one major plot line fairly early on, although the rest I hadn't seen coming. I love Sparrow! He likes Rowan and makes sure that she is protected. I loved the whole concept of the Coven, and what they do to save changelings. Also the idea of the 13 secrets themselves was very clever. This is definitely one for you if you love fairies mixing in the modern world, lots of suspense and danger smattered with humour. 

Final conclusion 
Not a book to be read after dark. Or on your own. Or in a big house. Or near a wood. (That's only if you're like me and can get scared easily, especially when woods are involved)

Final conclusion
Check out more about the 13 series (it's a trilogy - for now!) on Michelle's website

Suggested reads
Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty, magic and mayhem abound
The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper, talking ravens are the norm in Jack's life 
Knife by R J Anderson, a fairy with attitude! 


BlueSkyBookworm said...

I heard this book was boring however i may read it sometime...

Nayuleska said...

Please do give it a go, I didn't find it boring.