As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

December 12, 2011

THE PROPHECY OF THE STONES by Flavia Bujor, 2002

In a magical realm, three teenage girls-Jade, Opal, and Amber-are chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy. Although they meet as strangers, they must learn to trust one another with their lives as they embark on an epic journey, armed only with magical stones. On the day of their fourteenth birthdays, they set out on a quest that will require them to leave their homes and families to face fierce enemies in an effort to save an enchanted land called Fairytale, where magic reigns and evil is unknown. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Natalie Gorna

Back in 2004, a small fantasy novel called The Prophecy of the Stones reached American bookshelves. One of its main attractions for me was that the original French version, entitled La Proph├ętie des Pierres, was written by a fourteen year-old girl named Flavia Bujor. The first part of the novel is the epic war in a magical, parallel dimension between good and evil forces and the just inhabitants' physical as well as mental rebellion against a corrupted government. However, the second part of that struggle is set in modern-day Paris and enacted in an actual patient's desperate survival through her overwhelming illness.

I noticed right away that The Prophecy of the Stones is very profound and similar to The Lord of the Rings and theHarry Potter series, the storyline complex enough to justify that the novel is for readers older than children. Jade, Amber, and Opal share many traits with Joa's character, a clear sign of the author's efforts to demonstrate the parallelism of Joa's narrative and the three Stones' story. Redemption, friendship, and the power of hope are the story's prevalent themes. For example, Elyador, the Chosen One, is a man who underwent evil trials in his life. He has turned away from the Darkness and faced the Light again, but all his memories have been erased as a strange punishment for his desertion from evil. This strange twist of fate helps Elyador reach his destiny—to be the temporary king of the Realm and the warrior-king who must lead the ultimate battle against the Darkness. His character can be compared to Christ's in some ways, although Elyador is scorned and despised for different reasons. On one hand, Elyador's past history makes him a hated figure throughout Fairytale (the land where “nothing is impossible”); on the other hand, it is his amnesia and lack of identity that have given him the chance to start anew and fight for the Light, earning Fairytale's admiration and respect for his noble deeds.

The author’s innovative magical creatures, magical beings, and the settings themselves contribute to the mystery and depth of the prophecy, which is so crucial to the outcomes of the story and the main characters. The three girls' different personalities add life and color to the tale, just as the impending war, incomplete prophecy, and the uncertain futures of all characters create suspense and action. The wisdom in The Prophecy of the Stones is very thought-provoking, while the romance between several of the main characters is not banal and concentrates on love and hatred, two opposite emotions that radiate from the novel. Fear, anger, vengeance, and despair clash with hope and forgiveness, thoroughly describing human weakness, virtue, and the fact that every person must face his/her own dual nature of good and evil. However, the author emphasizes throughout that human life and society will never exist without the presence of both good and evil, a resounding truth. Reality and fantasy may intertwine in Bujor's work of fiction, but she still encourages the reader to never give up hope like Joa. I only know that I never gave up hope on The Prophecy of the Stones, because this is simply a splendid read worth making time for.

Market: Young Adult Fiction (fantasy)
Language: None
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Mature Themes: death, war, destiny, love, hatred, independence

Book formats:

No comments: