Wednesday, May 5, 2010

THIRTEENTH CHILD: by Patricia Wrede



Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.


Black cats, broken mirrors, and the number thirteen. All of these things have a common perception of being unlucky. And this is exactly what little Eff thinks of herself, that she’s unlucky.

Eff is the thirteenth child and protagonist of Patricia Wrede’s new book, The Thirteenth Child. The Thirteenth Child is a charming mix between Little House on the Prairie and a fantasy novel set in an alternative America. It focuses on the life of Eff and her struggles with accepting the misconception of being the thirteenth child.

I have been a fan of Patricia Wrede’s for years, but I was not enthralled with this book. I felt like there was little to no action and the use of magic was greatly underwhelming. Because I felt the book was building up for a grand finally I was disappointed when many of the lessons learned never were used, and Eff seemed to suddenly out of no where accept her role as a non-cursed child. Not only that but I felt this book lacked Wrede’s usual sense of wit and sarcasm that accompanies most of her books.

That said this book did have its redeeming qualities. First, the characters were very rich and interesting, their dialog was not at all corny and you could easily sympathize with the protagonist. Not only that but Wrede could possibly have been setting this book as the first in a series. If that is so then many of the unanswered questions I had from this book have the possibility of being answered in the sequels. This could then be seen as a long set up an interesting series.

All in all I feel this was an ok book that could have been better. Because of this, I hope there is a sequel to prove me wrong, and to make this into a great series, but until then I’d say it’s an ok summer read but nothing you have to rush out to get.


7 out of 10


Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks

Published: May 1, 2010

Price: $8.99

1 comment:

  1. After reading this book, I found myself wondering if I was the only one who found it underwhelming. In her well known series, the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, the conflict starts right away. We are swept off into a world of dragons and their difficulties, and are knee deep in trouble before the first fifty pages are up. Not so with this book.

    I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for something to happen. The only action scene is the very last chapter. Really...I want my money back. It almost feels as if she wrote it just to earn a paycheck, and not because of any particular words floating in her heart.

    I love the idea of the story. I wish it'd been written a little better.