Elves, magic, stolen gemstones, a quest to restore the balance between good and evil, and who is the mysterious Keeper?
When Aidan and Maggie find a fairy cross while rock hunting with their grandfather, it’s just an oddity. When they discover an elf imprisoned in the stone and free him, Dark Elves attack the siblings and their grandparents, forcing them to flee to Celahir, magical home of the Elves.
The family, with the help of their Elven friends, embarks on a dangerous adventure to find the first of the four stolen gems, the Carnelian. Without restoration of the stones, the balance between good and evil is slipping toward evil - in both Celahir and the human world…
An interesting first book of a middle-grade series, The Carnelian, The Gemstone Chronicles Book One, starts with a rural Georgian family (U.S., not Russian) and takes the reader on a fantasy adventure that moves along at a subtle pace. The main characters—grandparents and two grandchildren—end up on a journey in a non-cartoon fantasyland within our world where they meet all manner of beings and creatures from Elves, downward. (Reminiscent of many of the inhabitants of LOTR.)
Mr. Stuart has a credible imagination, and tells the story with a smooth and interesting voice. Its pacing is almost perfect for the young middle grade readers. I think this is a perfect novel to get any 11-15 year old off on the road to fantasy and science fiction.
Good luck with the rest of the series, Mr. Stuart.