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Suzy McKee Charnas
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Essays & Reviews
  The Golden Thread

The Golden Thread

  These (books about) Valentine Marsh, who has inherited her family's sorcerous powers . . . are extraordinarily good as fantasy and as young adult literature . . . a fine mix of funny and scary and real . .  
  —Orson Scott Card,
Hatrack River
Buy This eBook
In this third exciting book of the Sorcery Hall series . . . magical events at a New Year's Eve party seem to lead to the arrival of Bosanka, a sinister girl who says she is a foreign exchange student. She insists that Val and her friends can help her search for her "people." The problem is getting everyone together to create more magic the unlikely group of conjurers includes skeptics and wise guys. Bosanka's true identity will be a wonderful surprise for readers; her reunion with her people is poetically depicted and touching.
Publishers Weekly

The third in Charnas's series about a girl gifted with wizardly power in contemporary Manhattan, this may be the best. The characters are real, and the struggle between good and evil transcends the usual cliches.
Fantasy and Science Fiction
  With her beloved sorceress grandmother in a coma and hospitalized, 14-year-old Valentine Marsh . . . is assigned to assist a strange foreign exchange student, Bosanka, who reveals that she is a powerful, magical ruler of another world and . . . demands that Val and her friends use their power to find her misplaced subjects. Val fears Bosanka's people may subdue and misuse humankind, yet she dreads to refuse the royal commands.

Charnas shows the adventures of a typical high-school girl who just happens to have inherited some degree of white magic talent. In so doing, she touches on a host of contemporary issues, the most important of which is her ecological message that we are one people and must use technology to preserve the earth rather than destroy it. If all this seems a "stretch," it isn't. Charnas neatly ties seemingly disparate pieces together into an exciting, absorbing, contemporary romp.
  School Library Journal

An Excerpt:
Bosanka said sharply, "Look, Valentine!"

I looked.

The inside of the clothing store went suddenly dim — or was it the inside of my head? The carpeted floor was now a damp dirt path. The racks of sport clothes were green and rustling undergrowth that led my eye into dark forest depths on either side.

Close by, some thing made soft, nervous churring sounds. Where the sales clerk had been stood an animal like a giant kangaroo, round shouldered and covered with yellowish fur. I heard water splashing on stone as the big animal worked with what it held under the little waterfall — a bunch of wide, flat, purple leaves.

You see," Bosanka said coldly.

At the sound of her voice, the kangaroo-clerk dropped the leaves and began shifting from one foot to the other, blinking at us and anxiously wringing is paws in front of its stomach. Its open mouth showed uneven yellow teeth, and I could see the gleam of its sharp wet claws.

"Bosanka, stop it!" I gasped. I fumbled frantically behind me for the door handle. My fingers touched the rough bark of a tree.

"You see," Bosanka said again. There was a scornful twist to her mouth as she watched me sweat.

"I see, I see!" I jabbered, stepping sideways away from the ex-clerk in a panic.

Bosanka did some quick, intricate moves with her hands, like making a cat's cradle but without string. The foggy air thickened into a white blanket which melted away in an instant. There was the store clerk, coughing and snuffling and poking around under the counter.

I slumped against the heavy glass door of the shop, breathless with relief. The clerk bobbed up again with a wad of tissues clutched in her hand. "Oh, excuse me," she panted, looking wildly around the store. "I don't know what's wrong with me today. Allergies, I think, even if it is still winter. "

"Oh, it's the damp," I agreed hastily. "It can really get to you."

Bosanka uttered a snort and turned to go; what could I do but follow her?

    Read more about the Sorcery Hall series >>    
Electric Story e-version September 2001 Kindle:

none at present
Wildside Press Paperback October 2001 ISBN: 1587154803  
Starfire (Bantam) Paperback August 1990 ISBN: 55328553X
Delacorte Hardcover May 1989 ISBN: 0553058215