Monday, November 5, 2012

MMGM with Giveaway: The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox

Author: Victoria Simcox
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Date: 2011
ISBN: 9781937293147
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Grades: 3-6
Review Copy: e-book received in giveaway  sponsored by author.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.


Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the "Black Shard," Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.


Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Columbia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way.



Barnes and Noble


See my review of the first book in the series, The Magic Warble here.

In The Black Shard, the second in the Magic Warble series, we find Kristina returning to the land of Bernovem. At first she is excited to see all her old friends again, especially Werrien, the prince. But something seems off, and she soon finds herself plagued with doubts and questions while Werrien obsesses over a black stone that gives her the chills. The book heads into the action quite quickly,
There are plenty of twists and lots of fun characters. I especially like the talking animals. The characters are diverse enough to be interesting with enough depth for me to care about them and their choices both good and bad. Like many fantasies there is plenty of magic, good and bad to go around, but it felt like a fresh take on the fantasy quest standard plotline.  I recommend this book for middle grade readers who enjoy a good fantasy quest with plenty of challenges for our heroes to face, including their own weaknesses. Note: It's clear that this is not the end of the story, like many second books there are a lot of questions left unanswered.


To be entered to win a copy of The Black Shard, complete the mandatory entry in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 13 to enter. After you complete the mandatory entry, more will be unlocked and you may complete which ever of those you would like. This giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway ends November 26, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! We very much enjoyed The Magic Warble over on Fairday's blog! ~ Jess

  2. Great book for the blog hop. I am now following you on twitter. I also participate with the hops I see on your sidebar, so I'll definitely be seeing you around the blogosphere. :O)

    1. Sounds great! There are some great hops available. The trick is deciding which ones to participate in. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hello, Heidi, from my tour of the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

    I know you said there are some unanswered questions, but do you think this book stands on its own as well?


  4. Hi Heidi, Visiting from the Hop. Thanks for once again hosting the Hop! I won a copy of the first book and can't wait to read it. I didn't enter the draw for this one, so as not to be so greedy! ;)

  5. Hi Heidi, *waving*

    Nice meeting you on the hop. Great review and giveaway!

    I'm following you via Twitter.


  6. Thanks for participating in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This book sounds intriguing! I, too, love the Chronicles of Narnia, but I didn't find them until I was an adult.

  7. This age group becomes so engrossed in their reading. Glad you found a good book to share for them!! I'm a little late (life got in my way this weekend), but hopping around from the Lit Hop!

  8. Thanks for the Kid Lit Blog hop participation and the giveaway. Great review. Sounds a little spooky.


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