Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to provide a review of the middle grade fantasy “Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell” by Jen Barton. Review completed by Danielle (the daughter).
Title: Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell | Author: Jen Barton | Publication Date: September 4, 2012 | Publisher: Flickerfawn | Pages: 206 | Recommended Ages: 8-12 | Reviewed by: Danielle (Daughter)
Book Description: When Fiona Thorn, an ornery orphan with an expertise in explosives, sets out to rescue her imprisoned friend, Jaydin Rowan, she wants nothing more than a few sleeping guards and a satchel full of Blast. What she gets is a run-in with three bickering princesses that puts all four girls on the wrong side of a locked dungeon door. Now, accidentally involved in a plot to assassinate the King and accused of kidnapping the princesses, Fiona must find a way to free them all, save the King, and rescue Jaydin, all while struggling to pay the magical debt that’s slowly killing her. Unless, of course, the princesses’ annoying sibling rivalry kills her first. Packed with powerful magic, fun-loving fairies and a vicious ogre turned pet, Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell is a fantasy kids’ book sure to become a favorite in middle grade fiction.
1. What is the book about?
This book tells the story of Fiona Thorn, ornery orphan who has a penchant for explosives and who goes on a mission to rescue her friend, Jaydin Rowan. But when she runs into three annoying princesses whom she is unable to get rid of, all four of them get locked up in the dungeon. Now, Fiona is accused of kidnapping the princesses because she has a rough past with the king who is in danger of being killed. Now Fiona must find a way to save herself and the constantly bickering princesses, save the king, and finally save her friend Jaydin before the “magical debt” kills her.
2. Who are the main characters?
The main character is Fiona Thorn who is an orphan who likes explosives, has a talking horse as her best friend, and who just desperately wants to find her imprisoned friend Jaydin before a magical debt kills her.
3. What are your favorite parts of the book?
I really liked the part with the princesses because it was funny to listen to them argue and I really liked the youngest princess (Cricket) because she was awesome.
4. Was there anything that you didn’t like or that didn’t make sense?
I didn’t really understand what was going on at the start of the book but when I got further into the book I started to understand.
5. What are some of the things you learned from the book?
I learned that it is important to stand by your friends and to always be there for them.
6. What do you think of the book cover and other images?
I thought the cover was cool and really eye-catching because it looks really mysterious. However, it could use a little bit more color because everything looked bluish.
7. Overall, what did you think about the book?
I thought this book was really cool and I couldn’t put it down because I kept thinking things like “Why is this happening?” and “What’s going to happen next?” I would give the book 4.5 stars.
8. Who do you think would like this book?
I think girls and boys 8-12 would like this book.
About the Author: Jen Barton
Jen Barton was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1971 and spent much of her life on the East Coast. In 2008, at age 36, she and her family moved to California. With two cars, she and her husband moved two dogs, two guinea pigs, a cornsnake and their 10-year old daughter across the country. She counts the five day road trip, including a near escape by both dogs on Day 3, as one of her best experiences to date.
In 2009, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from Millersville University, Barton realized her childhood dream to become a writer. One van full of bored kids, one long day of travel, and Fiona Thorn was born. She’s been writing ever since.
When not taxiing her teenage daughter hither and yon, Barton loves reading (especially fantasy by George R. R. Martin), cooking (anything with pasta is a hit), and writing (magical worlds with obstinate teen girls is always a favorite).
In 2012 her fantasy adventure for tweens, Fiona Thorn and the Carapacem Spell, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Southern California Book Festival. Later that year Barton was named 1st Runner Up in America’s Next Author for her compelling short story of an old woman trapped in her own body, “Movin’ On Up.”