When Ivy Peterson sees the most extraordinary thing in her own backyard a fairy she dismisses it as another daydream, but she quickly realizes that it was, in fact, the real thing She goes in search of the mythical creature, and accidentally falls into Zandria, a magical world that exists just outside her own Unfortunately, she finds that she s trapped there Someone has stolen the Talisman, a magical amulet that controls the five gates between Zandria and her own world Ivy and her new friends, the wizard Arden, his young apprentice Connor, and a pair of fairies, set off on a quest to reclaim the Talisman of Zandria


10 thoughts on “Talisman of Zandria

  1. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    Christine Norris is the author of an enjoyable series called The Library of Athena While awaiting the fourth book in that series, I decided to read Norris first novel, Talisman of Zandria which is the start of a two book series First books are the sown seeds from which an author s future works grow, so it is not surprising to find similarities between Talisman and the three Library books The tale is told in Norris usual straightforward manner, unencumbered by unnecessary plot deviations o Christine Norris is the author of an enjoyable series called The Library of Athena While awaiting the fourth book in that series, I decided to read Norris first novel, Talisman of Zandria which is the start of a two book series First books are the sown seeds from which an author s future works grow, so it is not surprising to find similarities between Talisman and the three Library books The tale is told in Norris usual straightforward manner, unencumbered by unnecessary plot deviations or verbiage that last is one of the best things about her prose style Her characters are likable, though their pull on the reader s interest and sympathy is not as strong as in her later stories, and the book winds up tidily and pleasantly.However, there are weeds among the flowers in Talisman that are not to be found in the Library series For starters, the book is very much Tolkien for kids The plot in its general outline parallels The Lord of the Rings the quest for the Talisman being substituted for that of the ring and even some of the characters seem awfully familiar Gandalf, for instance, has been reborn as Arden, the wise and ultra powerful wizard This isn t necessarily bad, it s just disappointing after having seen evidence of Norris bountiful imagination in her other books.But some things definitely bothered me In order to show us that the old wizard is indeed good and gentle, Norris depicts Arden winking at Ivy, our eleven year old heroine, during their conversations Now this is fine once or twice, but during a number of exchanges between the two in one section of the book, we find the followingThat he said with a wave of his hand and a wink of his eye.I can trust you, can t I he asked, giving her a wink.You are quite welcome, Arden said with a wink. He leaned toward Ivy and gave her a wink. Arden said with a mischievous wink. Arden said, and gave her a wink.I suppose so, Arden said He winked at her and got to his feet.By the time I had read half of those instances of winking, an unwanted vision of Arden as a dirty old man was creeping into my brain.Also, there are occasions when the voices of narrator and character lose their separation When they were finished, everyone stood back to admire their work Thank you, everyone, Arden said.Since the narrator and Arden used the same pronoun in back to back sentences, it came off sounding to me as if everyone was a person like Everyman A tiny thing admittedly, but it reminded me that I was reading a book, thereby cracking the fantasy that I was watching reality unfold.Additionally, Norris now and then recycles her descriptions For example, chapter 7 nears it end thusly When he finished speaking, only glowing embers remained in the fireplace Skip ahead to the end of the first section of the next chapter Ivy lay in bed and watched the fire burn in the fireplace It was nothing but smoldering embers by the time she fell asleep It s nice imagery the first time the second time, it seems like self plagiarism.And now, in order to mention my biggest disappointment about the story, I must mention plot spoilers Please skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven t read the book I have praised Norris before for not stooping to contrivances to advance her plot Yet at two critical moments in Talisman, she extends her authorial hand and manipulates the plot for her protagonist s benefit The first instance is when Ivy accidentally discovers the sleeping empress and her seer like crystal This scene is necessary so that Ivy may learn of the failure of the heroes scheme and then set out after them, thus getting into the thick of the action But it defies belief that not one of the adults in the group, not the great wizard who s used to dealing with magic, not the experienced Captain, the temporary leader of the nation, thought to consult the crystal before deciding on their plan or even better, bring it along and consult it at every stage of the mission Surely something beneficial could have been learned It s also difficult to believe there isn t a guard posted in the empress room 24 hours a day The next contrived act is when Ivy finds a round stone table with a hole in the middle in which the Talisman she is carrying fits The author doesn t allow Ivy to figure this fact out on her own, something that would have elevated her status as heroine and something that should have been easy for Ivy to do Instead, she not only contrives to have Ivy stumble and lose her grip on the Talisman, but she sends the amulet sliding across the table and, against all odds, directly into the hole It is not a satisfying resolution to this episode.This is an inordinately long review, especially for a children s book, but given that Ms Norris may read it, and given that one s first novel is forever dear to one s heart, I wanted to be clear as to why I didn t rate Talisman as highly as her other books A middling rating without a detailed explanation would be, to me, disheartening Talisman of Zandria reads like a first, somewhat timid, novel, with all the good and bad generally found in such the Library of Athena books read like they were composed by a sure and experienced pen And that simply reflects the natural evolution of a writer I m certain that had she written this book today, Ms Norris would have given it oneread through and polished it up to where it shines as brightly as her other work Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading Return to Zandria


  2. Shannon McGee Shannon McGee says:

    I think of this as a mini quest somewhat like Lord of the Rings Characters are quaint and charming There is a lot of magic myth and lore It is a good story for kids 7 and up It is the kind of story parents could read there kids and they would really like it There is actually a sequel to this book called Return to Zandria I would be interested in the second one as well.


  3. Christine Norris Christine Norris says:

    I wrote this book It s my first published book, so I m kind of sentimental about it It s a fun little adventure, with dragons and wizards and a journey and the fight to get home Most people who ve read it like it, so I give myself four stars If you ve read it, feel free to tell me what you think of it.