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Book One in The Witches of Galdorheim Series
Author: Marva Dasef
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy
RATING: L=1 S=1 V=3
Release: October 14, 2011
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist: Kaytalin Platt
If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.
Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.
The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.
Quotes from Pre-release Reviewers:
In a world of witches, warlocks, and trolls, one girl seeks the family she’s never known. A powerful shaman is determined she’ll never find them. This intriguing story of magic, family, and secrets, will captivate readers and leave them begging for more. I highly recommend Bad Spelling by Marva Dasef. – Cheryl Malandrinos, author of Little Shepherd.
“All aboard!” the driver shouted. Rune climbed into the car behind the driver’s. Kat thought of it as the engine, something she’d read about in her history book. However, it didn’t appear to have any motive power, just the troll holding the brake.
Andy hugged his brothers, Endy and Indy, for the last time. They patted him on the back and murmured in his ear. Kat assumed they were wishing him a good journey. When she saw tears in their eyes, she turned away to give them some privacy. Maybe Andy would never have left the trolls if it hadn’t been for her. Yet Andy seemed eager to find his original family in Siberia.
Kat asked Rune for cushions. He shook his head and said, “Wimp. It’s only ten minutes. You’ve got plenty of padding already.”
Brothers! However, she realized she’d never have gotten this far without Rune. She swung a leg over the edge of the same car as Rune had hopped in. Not sure what to expect, she sat in the back corner and braced herself as best she could. Andy climbed in and sat kitty-corner from her at the front. Rune wedged himself in the opposite corner from Kat.
It was a good thing she was holding on tight. The driver released the brake, and the train shot forward. Her head snapped back and hit the side of the car, making her very glad she’d also thought to pull up the hood on her parka. She had a certain grim satisfaction seeing Rune wince when his head bounced off the backside of the car.
The train picked up speed until the walls of the tunnel became a blur. As the train rushed forward, spirit lights flicked on before them and winked out once they passed. Kat wondered whether she wouldn’t have preferred to travel in the dark; the motion and the flashing lights were making her dizzy. Besides moving at a horrendous speed, the cars rocked back and forth on the track. Her tailbone suffered in earnest within a minute.
Then it got worse.
The train pitched downward at a frightening angle. Feeling herself slip, Kat pushed her feet out away from the wall. She scrabbled trying to find a foothold to keep herself from tumbling forward. Unbelievably, the ore train picked up even more speed as it raced down the rails. Kat risked lifting her head enough to peek over the edge.
She immediately wished she hadn’t. The troll who was supposed to be controlling this headlong rush into oblivion was standing at the front of the engine car with his arms waving in the air! Andy wasn’t holding his hands up, but he still had a big grin plastered across his face.
“Brake! Brake!” Kat tried to scream, but the wind pushed her words back down her throat. Her eyes wide with fear, tears streamed from the corners. She looked at Rune in the other back corner of the car. He, too, had his arms stuck up in the air. His mouth was open, so he must be yelling something, but Kat couldn’t hear anything except the clattering of the wheels and the horrible rush of wind as the car barreled down the slope.
None too soon for Kat, they reached the bottom and ran along on level ground for a minute or so. She took this chance to reposition herself and get more firmly braced. Still, the train traveled so fast, the wind roared in her ears. Rune mouthed something at her, but she couldn’t hear anything he said.
Finally, the cars slowed. Kat sighed in relief. Was the journey over? The troll said ten minutes, and she felt like they’d been racing along for at least that. She saw the engine car start to head upwards. Good, she thought, the train would slow down even more. That proved to be the case. In short order, the cars slowed so much, she could now make out the details of the tunnel walls. She could see vertical lines evenly spaced along the walls.
Kat looked toward Andy and yelled, “What are those lines?”
Andy glanced at the wall and answered, “Boreholes.”
“What? I don’t understand.”
“You didn’t think we chipped out all these tunnels with a pick and shovel, did you?” Andy answered, “We blasted! Most fun we had in years.”
Kat wrinkled her forehead in thought, trying to understand how blasting would create such evenly spaced and identical lines. The trolls must have drilled down from somewhere above, loaded the holes with explosives, and blown up the rock. The lines were one-half of the boreholes, left over after the blasting.
The cars leveled again, so Kat looked forward to see what lay ahead. She gasped and shut her eyes tight. The engine car dropped out of sight as it topped the next peak. All she could do is grit her teeth to keep from biting her tongue until they reached the end of the long downhill run.
Then the train took a sharp left turn. The right side tipped up so high Kat feared the car would roll over. Next, the car lurched to the right. Her eyes flew open. She gasped as she stared down into a deep crevasse. The trolls had suspended the rails on a rickety bridge over the gap. Kat nearly lost her lunch on that one and shut her eyes again.
At last, the train leveled again and slowed to a full stop. Kat opened her eyes and breathed a deep sigh, relieved to see they had arrived at a platform like the one from which they’d departed in Norway. This time, she spotted a sign: East Ural Mountains.
Congratulations to Marva Dasef for coming in 2nd place for November's You Gotta Read Video Contest. Kaytalin Platt is the cover artist for Bad Spelling, so a round of applause to both ladies.
Click the banner & watch the video.
In Stock: 99
Customer Reviews:Beverlyjean (Sunday, 05 May 2013)
chemonro (Monday, 26 March 2012)
EParzefall (Saturday, 11 February 2012)
suepernz (Sunday, 29 January 2012)
lbelow (Tuesday, 25 October 2011)
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