Tara Duncan #1

Tara Duncan and the Spellbinders

by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian

Summary from GoodReads:

Tara DuncanTwelve-year old Tara Duncan has been developing strange telekinetic powers that allow her to bend space and levitate others high above the ground. Tara keeps her powers a secret until a masked man named Magister attacks her home and she is forced to escape to the planet OtherWorld. There she finds a new group of loyal friends and begins to better understand her strength. But when Tara discovers a secret about her mother that sets her on an epic journey, will her powers be strong enough to defeat the Magister? 
This is the first book in the Tara Duncan series – a fantasy series full of action, adventure, and romance, focused on a heroine who faces danger and betrayal with resilience, courage, and magic.

Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian has been writing since the age of twelve. She hold’s a master’s in diplomacy and strategy and is married with two teenaged daughters. Her Tara Duncan series is translated in twenty-seven countries and is a bestseller in France.

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Some of you may remember a post I did last November about a student giving me a very nice note and a book.  This is that book.  I was finally able to read it over winter break and I really did enjoy it.  

The book is told from Tara’s point of view and I found her to be a delightful young lady.  She was smart, and quick, and could get herself and her friends out of some pretty tough situations.  She did struggle with controlling her new found abilities, but she mostly kept those struggles to herself.  Once she gets to OtherWorld, she meets some great kids who become friends with her pretty easily.  I loved Cal and Sparrow.  They both had some pretty unique abilities that were fun to read about. 

There were many adults that helped Tara and her friends along the way, but I especially enjoyed Master Chem.  He was a dragon and the head of the wizards.  He was quite charming and a bit forgetful, but when he needed to protect Tara he was always there.  Some of the other wizards were interesting and fun to have around as well.

The plot was a bit all over the place.  I think some of this might be because it is translated from French into English.  It felt at times that some things just didn’t translate well.  I did have to reread some passages a couple of times because I had felt like I was missing something.  The pacing felt a bit off at times as well.  It does all come together eventually though and it ended up being rather well done.  

Overall an enjoyable story.  I’m not sure I would go with the recommended age level of 8-12.  I think younger kids will get frustrated with the plot inconsistencies.  But the older tweens and younger teens will definitely love it.  

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