Author: Marissa Burt
Publication: HarperCollins (October 20, 2015)
Description: From Marissa Burt, author of Storybound, comes a richly imagined middle grade fantasy full of magic, intrigue, and imaginative twists. A Sliver of Stardust is the perfect next adventure for fans of A Wrinkle in Time and The Emerald Atlas.
Wren Matthews thought she'd outgrown nursery rhymes a long time ago. But that was before she knew that songs of twinkling little stars and four-and-twenty blackbirds were the key to an ancient, hidden magic.
Wren's discovery catapults her into a world of buried secrets, strange dreams, and a mountain fortress under an aurora-filled sky. But just as she starts to master her unique abilities, her new world begins to crumble around her . . . and only she can save it.
My Thoughts: Wren is a homeschooled astronomy buff whose academic rival is homeschooled Simon Barker. Their parents are friends. When Wren and Simon are recruited by the magical Fiddlers, both enter a world they didn't know existed.
There was a recent civil war in that world between the Alchemists and the Magicians that has left lots of distrust between the adults and fear that the leader of the Magicians, Boggen, will someday return. Wren, Simon, and another new apprentice named Jack are all being mentored by Fiddler Mary who was Boggen's mentor.
This story is told by Mary. So we get to learn most about her. We see a young girl who knows she is smart and who is sometimes envious of her rival Simon. There are some things he is quicker and better at than she is. She is not used to that and doesn't like it very much. What we see of Simon is a more easy-going kid who wants to be friends with Wren. Jack is more mysterious. He's always cracking jokes but is very secretive about his past while both Wren and Simon come from happy families.
Wren learns that she has some unusual magical talents including that she is a Weather Changer and Dreamer. When she loses her temper, everyone learns that she is a Weather Changer which is worrying because Boggen was also a Weather Changer. She manages to keep the fact that she is a Dreamer secret. It is in her lucid dreams that she meets Boggen and other of the Magicians.
This story was entertaining and exciting as the kids need to stop Boggen from finding his way back to Earth and starting his civil war again. I liked that the magic the kids did used nursery rhymes as their base. I liked that each chapter began with an altered nursery rhyme. I liked the relationship that grew between Wren and Simon. I liked the world building.
Middle grade fans of fantasy will enjoy the sympathetic characters and fast-paced action of this engaging story.
Wren wished that she could make her mom understand that she was happy being by herself, but it seemed like her mom had seen too many movies in which the smart girl in glasses dreamed of being pretty and popular. Sure, Wren spent a lot of time alone, but she never felt like she was missing out. She could read whatever book she wanted. She could stay up late puttering around her favorite astronomy forum. She could watch old sci-fi reruns on TV. Wren had lots of plans for her time, and none of them included clubs at the community college, cross-country running, or Simon Barker.I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.