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Prospero’s Children by Jan Siegel

May 17, 2008

I actually read this book when I was in my freshman year of high school, and i re-read it again recently. It tells the story of Fern, a sixteen-year-old girl whose mother has died and whose eccentric father has recently inherited an old house in Yorkshire, England. Fern and her brother, Will, are not at all thrilled with the idea of spending a summer in a creaky, old house without a television, and are even less happy when they learn that their father’s lady friend, Allison, will be spending some time there as well while their father is away.

Things go from bad to worse when Fern discovers that Allison is a witch, and that the only reason she is there is because she is searching for an ancient key. The key to the Gate of Death, and that she’s willing to sacrifice Fern and her brother to find it. In order to stop Allison from reaching her goal, Fern must travel back in time to the long-lost city of Atlantis, and destroy the key before Allison of anyone else can get to it.

This is a fairly good read. I would not recommend it for anyone who is under the age of fourteen, as there are some racy bits and language in it, and it can be a bit scary.  don’t plan to re-read it any time soon. Still, the plot is complex, the characters are fairly well developed, and the story itself is well written. The author has even taken a Tolkien-esque turn and created an Atlantean language. (She scores a few points for that.)Miss Siegel has made the world of Atlantis into a tangible place in this story. The descriptions are vivid where vivid descriptions are necessary. If you are of an older age group and you are looking for an engaging read, check out “Prospero’s Children”. I would definitely recommend it, but, as a note to the parents out there, I’d read it first before handing it to your kids.

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