I love books set in Canada. This is probably because I recognize the names of some places, even if I’ve never been to them. But enough of this, it’s time to get going with the review! The protagonist is a girl named Miranda. But the story starts somewhere else, on Ellesmere island, the home of the elves. Fantasy creatures live in a world that is seperate from ours. They sealed themselves off there (but to be honest, humans sealed their world off from ours because science and things like that started taking over) and there’s been hardly any contact between the two since. There’s this entity waiting to be born, waiting for his name to be called. When he finally gets the call (he is named Dauthus), he breaks out of his egg, and then is practically killed by the demon who called him. Hate. She killed his mind and he became one of her little puppets. In the previous book “The Serpent’s Egg” (which I haven’t read at this time), Hate was apparently trapped away in the Place With No Name by Miranda, using the Bloodstones, or something like that. Anyway, the mission that Dauthus was given was to take over Ellesmere, pretend to be the dead king, and then once he was crowned, he would rule all. “Who wears the crown rules”. Knowing that kind of made me anxious, because it was one of those “who is going to get crowned first? The prince of the elves, or Dauthus?”
The book always seemed like you were reading around the start, even around the middle. Only around the end did it feel like it was supposed to: like it was the end. It was an interesting experience that I haven’t had before with a book, unless the book was non-fiction. After this little view of Dauthus’s birth, we go to the bedroom of Prince Ellestere’s bedroom. He is woken by the feeling that an evil presence (like that of the Demon, Hate) in his room. He gets onto the opposite side of the bed to the one he can feel the energy from. And as suddenly as it came, it dissapates, revealing one of the counselors. The elf says he heard Ellestere call him, and for a moment, Ellestere imagines (or perhaps sees) some of Hate’s features on the elf. That little incident ends with them discussing the death of Ellestere’s father, and then looking at the stars.
Meanwhile, in our world, Miranda, who is relatively sure that her body is asleep in Ottowa, is quietly walking around Ellesmere island at night. The Bloodstones are with her, and they are working, which is strange, seeing as she can only use them in Ellesmere, and she’s relatively sure she’s just asleep. She sees someone and hides, unfortunately, he keeps on coming in her direction and she uses the Bloodstones. To her surprise, she finds herself looking out of the man’s eyes, and doesn’t see herself when he draws back a couple of branches. After coming back to her own body, she follows him. They appear at the place where King Ruthar died, and the man turns out to be an elf named Mathus.
Miranda sees the king, who she knows is dead, move, and put something black in Mathus’s hand before he could pull away. It exploded, and Mathus started screaming. Luckily, Miranda woke up around now. Her mother was quite worried. Miranda tried to remember as much of the dream as possible, but she forgot about a couple of details, like Mathus’s name (she remembers most of the details later on in the book). The next day she tells her friend Arabella about the dream, and then Nicholas. They decide not to tell Penelope, who also went with them to Ellesmere. Stubby (which is what they refer to one of their teachers as), is particularly mean in class that day. But Miranda planned something, after a couple of events that shocked Stubby, the children were quiet and attentive, paying Stubby the respect he believed he deserved. Of course, whenever he moved out of the corner were bad children were supposed to stand, they’d all start up with a bunch of noise, (coughing for example) until he moved back. At the end… they couldn’t help it, they all burst out laughing and Stubby blamed Miranda.
Later, out of spite, he went and stole one of her workbooks… and the Bloodstones (that part had me going “oooh crap, what are they gonna do?!”) They go to visit the dwarves later, to try and find a way back to Ellesmere, and they accidentally set of the Ku-Ku-Fun-Gi or whatever that weird mold-like stuff was called. The K.K.F.G. (as I shall refer to it) is supposed to strengthen stone, being a symbiote. Unfortunately, when Nicholas kicked it, it thought it was being attacked and attacked back. Later the dwarves explained that it couldn’t tell an enemy from stone, so it would attack stone to and weaken it. And they had no way of calming it down.
The kids learned that one of the dwarves, named Malcolm, had gone missing a couple of nights ago, and they hadn’t found a body. Disturbing enough, but when Naim, a Druid, suddenly arrived with news that something strange had happened to the portal, and that the Crown had been stolen, things got worse. Naim informed Miranda that he would need her help to get into some dark lands, and the Bloodstones could guide them. Miranda then told Naim that she didn’t have the Bloodstones with her, but they were in her locker. Later, her house was broken into, and they discovered Malcolm the dwarf there, saying he had come to check up on them via some orders from the dwarf who was in charge.
Miranda told him that the Bloodstones were safe….. in her locker. Rather stupid, but she didn’t think that he might be bad. So it is good that Stubby stole them……. sort of. Nicholas, Naim, and Miranda left that night to go to a portal that would probably take them somewhere else in the other world. They went and “borrowed” horses, left a note and a stone as payment (that stone turned out to be a large, uncut ruby. O_O) Meanwhile, Penelope and Arabella found out that Stubby had the Bloodstones, and recovered them before finding a way to follow Miranda and give them back to her. Before they reached them, Miranda stayed with some soothsayers for awhile. And she forgot not to ask questions. The soothsayers blew up and started arguing, one almost cut off Miranda’s hand, and then one stuck this black mouth on her face and said a prophecy, while the other one, a man, was trying to rip it off her face, saying it was his mouth.
Not too long after that, Nicholas, and a dwarf (I can’t remember his name now, to my intense frustration) get kidnapped by Bog Trolls, along with Arabella. And Muffy (Penelope’s dog) almost got killed. Did you know that trolls are actually evolved humans? I found that fact almost disturbing. Anyway, the book is totally awesome, the story is really good, and I really want to get my hands on “The Serpent’s Egg”, and “The Twisted Blade”. Speaking of “The Twisted Blade”, if you’ve read this book and the first one, you could get a chance to win “The Twisted Blade”, which is the third book in the trilogy. Seriously, there’s a contest right now on J. FitzGerald McCurdy’s site. Here’s a link. I am so glad I picked up “The Burning Crown” when I saw it at the library. ^_^ ‘Cause did you know, I’d seen a bookmark for “The Serpent’s Egg” before, but I never thought to check it out!