Paul Park, The Tourmaline Reviews

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“The Tourmaline ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 16/07/2006

The Tourmaline
Paul Park
Tor, Jul 2006, $24.95
ISBN: 076531441X

In Great Roumania, sorceress Aegypta hid her niece Miranda Popescu on an alternate plane in a place called Massachusetts to keep her safe from rival factions loyal to Baroness Nicola Ceausescu. Aegypta and Nicola know that young Miranda is the prophesized "White Tyger" who is expected to save their people from the German onslaught. However, with Miranda vanished, Nicola claims she is the White Tyger even as she searches for the youngster to eliminate the potential threat.

However, Nicola finally "finds" her rival and soon the teen is whisked back to her home realm accompanied by her best friends Peter and Andromeda who join her quest; whereas Peter transforms into de Graz, Andromeda shape-shifts into a canine. However the malevolent Baroness composing her opera THE TOURMALINE and the apprehensive German Elector seek her out to destroy the upstart who is guided by the spirit of her Aunt Aegypta's ghost.

The sequel to the delightful A PRINCESS OF ROUMANIA is a fabulous alternate history fantasy that uses a different realm where magic, the paranormal and the supernatural exist and Africa is the superpower. The fast-paced story line is driven by the rivals with the heroine coming of age as she learns her only hope of winning and surviving reside in learning to use magic while her adversary wants her dead. Though perspectives can become difficult to follow as the four key support cast and several tertiary characters play major roles, fans will enjoy this coming of age middle tale with a confrontation to go.

Harriet Klausner

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