Family

A ‘Silk Road’ leads to magic, adventure, mythical creatures, oh my!

Looking for a story filled with adventure, friendship, science and magic? Look no further than Kirsten Marion’s debut novel, "Lucy and Dee: The Silk Road" (Common Deer Press). Marion has taken her years of traveling all over the world and passion for books and writing to create a world filled with folklore, witty characters and intrigue.

Opposites attract for Lucy and Dee, two best friends that have very different views on the world. Lucy is adventurous and a dreamer longing for any opportunity to explore far-off lands. Dee takes after his missing archeologist parents as a more analytical type, putting all his faith in science and making new discoveries. But Dee’s analytic and scientific beliefs are challenged when the duo encounters a strange sight while doing some science experiments in the forest — a tree on fire, which actually turns out to be a bird … on fire.

Curiosity piqued, Lucy and Dee follow the bird until it disappears into a rock. Puzzled, they try to figure out how the bird could have done that, eventually discovering that within the rock lies a tunnel. Lucy’s adventurous spirit gets the better of her and she drags Dee along down the tunnel into a wide cavern. A rainbow-colored road lights their path, and when Lucy kneels down to touch it, she finds that it is made of silk — a literal “silk road,” just like the historic trade route connecting Europe and the Far East.

A NAÏVE EMPEROR AND A RUTHLESS QUEEN

Lucy and Dee are thrust into a new world of magic and strange mythical creatures (friend or foe we aren’t sure), armed only with a feather from the firebird. They find themselves tasked with the protection of Yidi, a young Emperor, from the “Great Mother Queen Xixi,” who wants him dead. But she isn’t their only problem. As it turns out, the young Emperor Yidi has been sheltered from the world and doesn’t know anything about life outside his castle, which includes how to make friends, making him a bit difficult to travel with.

The trio finds a group of people in tattered clothes shackled together in “Chain Gangs,” hoeing the earth and being kept in line with a large whip. This forces Yidi to open his eyes to the many injustices that his people are suffering, learning quickly that “unity doesn’t mean equality.”

As their journey progresses, Lucy, Dee, and Yidi begin to count and lean on one another, forming a bond as they try to solve how to defeat Queen Xixi, who has an unknown amount of power and a large army behind her. But with Lucy’s evolving magic abilities that seem to continue to get stronger with the help from Shuka’s feather and her strong belief in magic paired with Dee’s scientific brain and his ability to observe everything, these kiddos are a force to be reckoned with.

In a battle with Xixi and her fearsome shapeshifting sidekick, the tiger Sabu, Lucy is forced to reveal her deep well of magic. Now nowhere is safe; Xixi will hunt them down, not resting until they are captured.

The tale ends leaving us with more questions than answers. What is the full extent of Lucy’s powers? Now that Yidi is aware of the suffering of his people, what will he do about it? Will Dee ever find his parents, who disappeared on an archeological dig so long ago? Can the kids find their way back to the silk road? For now, we must wait in anticipation for the next adventure.

A MAGICAL ESCAPE

I have read many middle-grade books both as a child and as an adult and I have to say, there is something special about this one. Maybe it’s the dynamic between our two main characters, or the folklore and world-building, or the slight feelings of jealousy that I don’t live in a world full of mythical creatures and magic. Whatever the case, Marion has written an enthralling adventure that brings together elements of reality and fantasy in a tale reminiscent of such classic fantasy series as "The Chronicles of Narnia."

"Lucy and Dee: The Silk Road" should be at the top of your middle-grade reading list; it’s a must-read for anyone looking for a way to escape the monotony of everyday life.

––––

(BookTrib.com is the lifestyle destination for book lovers, where articles and books are paired together to create dynamic content that goes beyond traditional book reviews.) ©2022 BookTrib. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This story was originally published May 12, 2022 1:00 AM.

This text m the feature file
#ReadLocal

testing that in CTA section param info supersedes the configuration in the feature file

subscribe test!
Copyright Privacy Policy Terms of Service