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The Silver Bowl

by Diane Stanley

Published by Harper/HarperCollins, 2011
307 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠢61575433

Ages 10-14

Molly is rough and uneducated when she抯 sent to Dethemere Castle at seven and begins work as a scullery maid. But she抯 also spirited and intelligent. Years pass and Molly is promoted to polishing silver, and she抯 soon given care of a large, beautiful hand basin. While working on the bowl抯 etched interior, Molly has visions of a curse on the royal family. Rumors of a curse have abounded for years; now Molly has proof but she cannot share it: Admitting she has visions would put her in danger. After 搒eeing the newly crowned king抯 death, she confides in her good friend Tobias, who works in the stables. The two are unable to save the king when he is attacked by a band of wolves during a wedding banquet, but they do rescue his brother, Prince Alaric. On the run with the injured prince, they eventually take refuge in a monastery, where plans are made to challenge the usurper who has taken Alaric抯 place on the throne, and to destroy the silver bowl that holds the curse. Diane Stanley抯 imaginative fantasy features fast-paced action and a feisty young hero, but Molly isn抰 the only appealing character. Alaric is a young man whose sense of privilege wanes as he spends time among those with little or nothing and develops a new understanding of what makes a good king, and Tobias is steadfast, smart, and devoted to Molly. The developing relationship among all three characters is at the heart of a story that includes intrigue, mystery, and the satisfying triumph of good over evil.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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