In the deft hands of Diane Stanley, the fast-paced tale of Molly, a humble scullery maid who has visions, dark visions, of death for the royal family, and her attempts to warn the King and save the kingdom of Wisteria unfolds. Rich with adventure, masterfully told, The Silver Bowl will resonate with readers grades 5-8.
Molly is a spunky, happy-go-lucky girl who grew up playing hard amongst the local boys, but is shipped off at age seven to go into servitude at the Castle Dethemere. She proves herself at her job in the kitchen but is of particular use in polishing the grand family's beloved silver treasures including a massive silver loving cup with beautiful silver inlays and decorations. When polishing the bowl, Molly sees it transform before her eyes to show the death of the King and the prince.
Molly warns her friend Tobias who works in the stables, and together they keep an eye out for trouble. When other-worldly wolves show up for a royal ceremonial dinner with more than dinner on their minds, the young pair rushes to save Prince Alaric.
With Molly's quick thinking and help from friends along the way, Molly and Tobias hide the prince and figure out a way for him to claim his rightful throne. Prince Alaric starts out a foppish, spoiled twit but turns into an incredibly huge-hearted ruler who takes care of those who risked their lives for him. Molly is richly rewarded not only in life but also in love.
Readers will cheer the outcome. This was a lovely, uplifting read -- one to be treasured forever. I loved this book and would recommend it to any young reader who likes adventure, fantasy, or just a plain all-out great page-turner.
Highly, highly recommended for middle school and elementary collections. Some high school readers who like adventure and fantasy will also find this an entertaining read.
Recommeded by Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist, Texas
visit my her novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/
*now a featured blog on the Texas Library Association's homepage at http://www.txla.org/TLA-blog
At the age of 7 Molly's father walked her to the gatehouse of Dethemere Castle and "offered her up like a loaf of bread at market." The castle folk took her on as a scullery maid. Molly stepped through the doors with her mother's necklace hidden under her shirt and with the knowledge that she sees visions and those visions come true. As days pass Molly makes a good friend of the Donkey Boy, Tobias, and is eventually promoted to polishing the highly prized silver pieces. One day as she polishes a large silver bowl, its carvings come alive under her hands and warn her of the curse on the king and his family. Before her yees and despite her prophetic vision, the king is killed along with his heirs, all but Prince Alaric. What can Molly do to protect the Prince? Will she and Tobias have enough wit and luck between them to challenge the dark and powerful forces who are determined to rule in this land? Ages 9-13 320 pages