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Valinora Troy
The Lucky Diamond
“The whirlclouds erupted on all sides, buffeting the boat first one way and then the next, sending Alan sprawling from one side of the deck to the other. He couldn’t stay on his feet long enough to reach the tiller. Yvonne and Susan clung to the mast. He couldn’t see Vicky or Cathy as waves washed over the side, drenching him.” When 10 year old Cathy meets Lucky, a magical talking diamond, she and her orphaned siblings readily agree to help Lucky get home to the Rock of Diamonds, situated far from their home in the rundown town of Lowdar, in the furthest reaches of the country on the other side of the monster infested Great Forest. What the five children don’t know is that Lucky’s enemy, the evil Queen Rose of Cassis, is hunting the Diamond princess and will do anything to stop her, and those helping her, from reaching the Rock of Diamonds. With Lucky’s magic waning rapidly and Queen Rose determined to destroy her and the children, can five young orphans possibly succeed in their quest? “Nivram, a place of unimaginable beauty and danger + five orphaned siblings trying to save a friend = the adventure of a lifetime that hurtles along at tremendous speed and is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.” Lindsay J Sedgwick, author of the Wulfie series “The Lucky Diamond is a gem, fast-paced and convincing, with an unusual quest and characters you'll want to know. A great read.” Livi Michael, author of The Whispering Road, winner of Nestle Children’s Book Bronze Award
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10


Plot/Idea: Troy crafts a rich, multilayered story reminiscent of classic fairytales with a darker twist. The plot centers on five orphans, each possessing magical gifts, who must embark on a dangerous enchanted journey – and in the process, Troy reveals separate but intertwined journeys of self-discovery.

Prose: Troy’s prose is nearly flawless, featuring astounding mythical world-building alongside writing that skillfully builds tension in all the right moments. Though some of the text struggles to keep up with the multidimensional plot, in the end the narrative is delivered with brilliant flair.

Originality: The Lucky Diamond borrows from iconic fairytale stories and melds them into one harrowing, entrancing adventure. Troy balances the dreamy settings with plenty of action, giving the novel a well-rounded feel.

Character Development/Execution: Troy’s central characters are appealing, and readers will eventually root for their victory – despite a lack of in-depth development. The five main children undergo satisfying transformations, and their antagonist is equal parts chilling and mesmerizing

Date Submitted: April 23, 2022