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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A YA fantasy trilogy about a twin boy and girl, the children of a Fae mother and a human father, who discover a new destiny when their parents are murdered.…

Crystal Bones

by Aubrey Hall

Overall Book Review:

Twins Diello and Cynthe are excited to turn thirteen and come of age—but their birthday doesn’t shape up quite how they’d hoped. Instead of a celebratory breakfast and a day spent at the market fair, they are given a list of errands… and the day turns from bad to worse when they return home to find their farm in flames. Plunged into an adventure neither of them had expected or hoped for, Diello and Cynthe have to stay safe, retrieve a magical secret, and uncover the truth behind their parents’ real history—before it’s too late. Crystal Bones hooked me from the beginning! Although the book is aimed at a middle-grade or early young adult audience, C. Aubrey Hall has created a wonderfully sophisticated setting for this first book in her Faelin trilogy—the story of half-human, half-Fae twins Diello and Cynthe. I loved the realistic-feeling fantasy world and the development of Diello’s character as he makes his first steps into manhood. My only complaint was that I felt a few more things could have used fleshing out, including the character Cynthe. Overall, though, I heartily enjoyed Crystal Bones and would happily recommend it to any fantasy-loving young teens!

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Marshall Cavendish

Content Analysis:

There is no actual profanity, but several angry insults.

There is moderate violence throughout the book—an army of goblins raids the twins’ farm and kills both of their parents (the twins come on the scene afterwards), and the twins have several run-ins with violent goblins throughout the book, as well as a fight with a “trog” monster in the woods. At the end, a central character kills several goblins and feels great remorse for it (although it was necessary). Throughout the book, themes of death and violence are handled with respect and gravity, and the violence is never gratuitous.

There is very mild sexual content—a boy and girl have small crushes on each other, and another (simple-minded) boy says that he likes to stare at a girl because she is pretty.

Mature Subject Matter:

Mature themes consist of death (including the death of parents), cruel treatment, bigotry, and killing in self-defense.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


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About the Reviewer

As a kid, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a “professional book reviewer” when I grew up (along with writer/ballerina/figure skater/mom). I thought that any profession that involved the full-time reading of books was my idea of heaven. Getting the chance to review books is a little dream come true!