Monday, August 5, 2013


And the winners of an eBook copy of THE BLACK SHARD are:
Donna McDine
I've forwarded your email addresses to Victoria.
Enjoy the read.

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing THE BLACK SHARD, a MG/Tween fantasy novel by Victoria Simcox. From the story to the characters to the artwork this book is a joy to read.

Now don't you want to know what these characters are up to? I do. (And I know.)
Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the "Black Shard," Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
My Review:
By Victoria Simcox
Have you ever dreamed of living in a magical land of fairies, serpents, gnomes, and other fascinating characters? Even better, what if this land also has talking horses, a Seeing Crystal that shows the Wizards where whatever they want to see is, and a handsome prince that seems to think you’re pretty awesome? If you’d like to journey to such a place then come along with me to Author Victoria Simcox’s latest MG/Tween novel, THE BLACK SHARD.

My favorite characters, Kristina Kingsley and Prince Werrien, from THE MAGIC WARBLE, the first book in the series, are back with more adventures, intrigue, and surprises. While attending a riding camp for girls, an accident lands Kristina in Bernoven, where she met Prince Werrien two and a half years earlier. Davina and Hester, the bullies that do their best to make Kristina’s life miserable, are also there. Kristina has no idea what happened, but she’s happy seeing old friends, along with new ones. Everyone is not friendly though. Some want to harm Kristina, and her courage is soon tested, along with her trust in Werrien.

Like Kristina, I enjoyed renewing acquaintances from the first book. Davina and Hester are just as mean to Kristina as ever. Prince Werrien is two years older, as is Kristina, and their romance is hesitant, and tender, and just right. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy, prince or commoner, that made you feel like a princess? The little girl, Jabela, stole my heart. Besides characters that come to life, Victoria Simcox, has a way of bringing the reader into the setting, making you feel as though you’re with the characters, feeling the waves toss the ship up and down, hearing the wind whistle around you. Or visualizing the image in the mirror and shuddering. Black-and-white sketches throughout the novel provide just the right touch.

As much as I liked the first book, I think THE BLACK SHARD is even better. I wasn’t ready for the story to end and hope the next book in the series will soon be out. I recommend Ms. Simcox’s novel for fantasy lovers, adventure lovers, and everyone that enjoys a good read with a touch of danger and a gentle romance. And you don’t have to be a tween to read it; adults will enjoy Kristina and Werrien’s story, as well.


Where to learn more about Victoria and her books and either join or like her sites:


The Black Shard on FB!/pages/The-Black-Shard/264063053622412

Victoria Simcox on Twitter.
Victoria is also giving away 3 eBook copies of the Black Shard US/International. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email so she can contact the winners.
Now, meet the author, Victoria Simcox:

Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends.

Sounds like a busy lady.

Happy Reading. Don't forget to leave your message and email.


  1. Victoria's MG looks like just what kids will enjoy. Your review was excellent, Beverly, and I wish Victoria huge success with her new book! :-)

    (I don't read MG, so I won't enter the giveaway.)

  2. I have this book but haven't read it yet. Great review!

  3. Thank you, Lexa. You don't read middle grade? Oh, you might be missing something good. :)

    Thanks for your kind words.

  4. I think you'll enjoy the book, Kelly. Magical lands are so much fun. And I never can resist a handsome prince. :)

  5. Fascinating book and author! Wow homeschooling I'm in awe!


  6. I agree with you, Donna. Homeschooling moms have my respect. Their dedication is amazing. Victoria sounds like a very busy lady.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Great review, Beverly. Wishing Victoria the best success with The Black Shard.

  8. Thanks, Katja. I'm glad you liked the review.

  9. Great review. I love MG books! You really have to have a great imagination to write fantasy and it sounds like she did a really good job of it. I love Celtic music and hiking, too!

  10. Thanks, Janet. I agree about the need for imagination to write fantasy, that's why my writing is mostly contemporary. Victoria seems to have that "magic" touch.