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Comments: The ideas, characters, and plot have potential. However, there is a great deal of unnecessary unpleasantness in the books. Good people are unpleasant as part of the plot, and even horridly unpleasant, when their purposes could have been achieved in more sensible ways. Too many good people die, conveying the idea that good does not necessarily triumph or, worse, that lives don't matter. There is much hyperbole, redolent of pulp fiction rather than good literature. The quality of the plot is unlikely to interest the adult and especially the discerning reader.
The Thirteen Secrets is the final instalment in Michelle Harrison's wonderful trilogy involving the relationship between faeries and humans. I adored her first two books, The Thirteen Treasures and The Thirteen Curses and I anticipated the latest novel with a mixture of sorrow, excitement and dread - sad because it was the signalling the end of my interaction with well-loved characters, excited to see how these characters would develop and the tiniest hint of dread that I might be disappointed. Fear ye not as the author does a fabulous job of bringing events at Elvesden Manor to a close whilst introducing us to some intriguing new characters.
I don't want to give away too much of the plot but suffice to say that you are in for a real treat. Rowan (Red) is living at Elvesden Manor and she is doing her utmost to lead a "normal" life with Tanya, Fabian and co. Of course "normality" is off the menu when you live in a fairy-infested house, fairies in the grandfather clock, a tea caddy brownie in the kitchen complete with walking stick and a drain dweller in the bathrooom whose belches smell like rotten eggs. However, Rowan is haunted by nightmares from the past and it would appear that everyone, human and fairy alike, is harbouring some sort of secret, some of which have dreadful consequences.
This is an even darker tale than the preceding novels, perhaps due to the increasing maturity of the characters who have already experienced the dark and light side of faeries. We have already seen the malevolence of the Unseelie Court, the random removal of human children replaced by changelings, the vindictive nature of Tanya's faerie guardian but things take an even more sinister turn in this volume with the battle between good and evil becoming a fight between life and death. Some scenes are reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, especially the battle between Aslan's followers and those of the White Witch - stirring stuff which doesn't pander to those of an overly sensitive nature so expect tears amidst the smiles and rejoicing!
So, the feeling of dread has vanished but there is still some residual sadness that the 13 series is over. At least I will have the pleasure some day of reading the trilogy aloud to my daughter (who, at 7, is still at the Tinkerbell stage..) I highly recommend this whole series to children of all ages (9-99) who believe in some sort of magic and who don't automatically attribute those odd noises in the bathroom to faulty plumbing!
This trilogy is exciting. Every chapter leaves the reader wanting more. If I had the time to do so, I could have sat and read this trilogy from page one book one, straight through the last page on book three!
If you have read 13 Treasures and 13 Curses, 13 Secrets will not let you down. There are new twists and turns, new characters, and a great new plot; but still filled with the lovable people from the first two.
I still want more, but maybe that's because I enjoyed reading the story so much, and fell so in love with the characters- I didn't want to be done spending time with them. Some parts were slightly predictable, but finding out the why behind the predictions, was interesting. I loved finding the many clues and solving the puzzles with Fabian, Tanya & Rowan. When I read the last page of the last chapter, I was like, "What?! The end?!" The epilogue, however, ended the story fine.
I would not be mad if Michelle Harrison decided to write a fourth book, but am totally ok with the end if she doesn't.
*I originally ordered this series for my 8 year old daughter (an advanced reader), but wanted to read 13 Treasures (book 1) to see if it was an age appropriate story, but after reading it, I had to read the next two books! However, It's just enough too dark- she'll have to wait. I will not be handing this trilogy over to my daughter just yet. I think she'll need to be 12 or older before I let her read it.
I am well aware that I am much older than the target audience for this type of book! But I don't care, I lead a pretty dull adult life and sometimes its nice to be able to escape into a magical story filled with magical characters. I have decided (though I realise it is not possible) that I want my very own Brunswick living in my garden!
The 13 series kind of reminds me of the magic faraway tree stories by Enid Blyton that I read over and over again when I was kid, books I still own and read from time to time. (R J Andersons series is similar and I love them just as much) I love all the characters so much, especially Tanya as she's the heroine and I can sympathise so much with things she's experienced (not the being able to see faeries part I'd like to add) but divorce and split families and secrets. I loved witnessing her grow and accept her abilities and responsibilities throughout the 3 books, she really is a wonderful character and it is such a shame that this is the last we shall hear about her.
I really don't like to say too much about plot in a review, otherwise whats the point in someone reading the book? But I will say that the final battle that Tanya, her friends both human and fey and her family face is immense. It far exceeded my expectations for this book. It really has matured as a series and I felt that the final instalment really did it justice. I was not at all disappointed, and as sad as I am that the series is finished I am sure I will read the books time and again and I eagerly await Michelle Harrisons next work.
I was gutted to put this book down. I have read the whole series and this finale really brought it to a great end. This is a super read for any age from 8 upwards. At first I wasn't that intrested in reading this series I thought it was all frilly faries but this book really shows a different side to the faries. This book got you asking questions like any good mystery but they were more like:Who has killed so and so?or Why did she do that?Michelle Harrison has written one of my favourite series ever! I would recommend to really engross yourself in this book although make sure you have read all of the others first!Have a good time with this book the murders and excitement are my favourite part Michelle describes the characters really well and this book.This series is ……AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!