Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Harper #3: Harper and the Night Forest by Cerrie Burnell

My name is Harper, and the Wild Conductor needs our help. He wants to win back his place in the Circus of Dreams, but we need to travel to the Night Forest where the fairy tales first began. There, he says we'll find the Ice Raven whose song can tame the fiercest heart. However, I've now met the keepers of the fairy tales, and they've shared the love story of a prince and a witch's daughter. The witch became angry and changed the prince into the Lone Wolf and her daughter into the Ice Raven. They will forever be separated until an ending to the only unfinished fairy tale in the forest can be found. The Wild Conductor needs the Ice Raven, but it will never change back into the witch's daughter if it ever leaves the forest. Music is magic, and it may be the only way to solve this problem.

This book is targeted for a younger audience than my normal middle grade readers. Harper and her friends carry musical instruments whose tunes have magical effects. Harper's music is the most powerful when played on her harp. The author certainly has a vivid imagination, as the fairy tales are recorded on tree bark, the conductor travels on a bicycle carried by ravens, and Harper's mode of transportation is an upside down umbrella. I didn't read the previous two books in the series, and I felt like I was missing some background information on the characters' relationships. I still enjoyed the story, so it wasn't a big factor. The characters got along very well and had compassion for each other. Harper's group was immediately ready to help the Wild Conductor, but they also displayed empathy toward the plight of the Ice Raven and Lone Wolf. The plot was easy to read and understand, and it came to a satisfying conclusion. Overall, it was a very entertaining book that I can recommend to young readers with an interest in fairy tales and music.

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