I'm pleased to present Jena Lohrbach's first book review at The Well-Read Child. Check out more of Jena's reviews at Muse Book Reviews.
Northlander (Tales of the Borderlands #1) by Meg Burden
Ellin Fisher is a Master Healer’s daughter, and she has never doubted that she, too, will become a Healer. One night, she finds herself in a room with the sick Northlander king. Without her father for guidance and knowing that she’s breaking Northlander laws, Ellin tries to heal him anyway. For her efforts, she gains the gratitude of the princes and is welcomed as their guest while their father recovers completely under her father’s skilled care. The king, however, is none too pleased that his health has been returned to him by Southling healers, and sentences them to imprisonment. And that’s just the beginning of Ellin’s story.
Meg Burden spins a compelling tale, much in the vein of Cynthia Voigt’s YA fantasy novels, though not quite as polished in the final results. Prejudice, the main theme, is tightly woven into every page, which adults might find tiresome but which probably wouldn’t have bothered me a bit when I was eleven. My one complaint is that Burden felt the need to put a romantic spin on one of the many relationships Ellin has in the book; that kiss scene detracted from the story more than anything else in the book.
If you know a tween girl who likes fantasy, this would be a logical choice for her. Plus, it’s the first in a series, so she’ll have more Tales of the Borderlands books to look forward to.
- Age range: 9-12
- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Brown Barn Books (October 24, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0976812681
- ISBN-13: 978-0976812685