Evie has come a long way in her journey to become the Harp Maiden. We have seen her receive a scholarship to study with renowned maestro, Lionel Thorn; only to discover it’s all part of a sinister plot orchestrated by the demon, Lord Volok. She has escaped the devastating fire at Dower Hall and seen the death of the ogress; discovering the magical Black Ruby that will bring the demon queen back to life. Overwhelmed, uncertain, but still determined to rid the world of dangerous demons once and for all, in the final installment, Evie faces tragedy at home and distasters plague the entire town and its’ surroundings while she struggles to take the final steps onto her own path….
HARP MAIDEN: LADDER OF CHARMS
author :Jackie Burke
cover illustration: Rachel Corcoran
Lindon Books (September 2022)
The ogress is dead; that we know. But demon lord Volok is still at large, seeking the five talismans so that he may resurrect his wife, the dreaded Queen Madruga. And it’s down to Evie to stop him; she is the Harp Maiden…it’s her job. But tragedy has struck at home, and disaster after disaster plagues her family, friends and the whole town as Evie struggles to complete the six steps of the Ladder of Charms. She must keep going, no matter what the cost, and tap into the powerful magic that awaits her; that will allow her to destroy Volok forever. It’s difficult and overwhelming and Evie worries that this new magic will change her, turning her into someone she doesn’t want to be. Will her friends turn their backs on her when they discover her deepest secrets? And where are the five talismans Volok needs? As Evie struggles to find the answers, her quest is coming to its dangerous close. But not before her father reveals a startling secret of his own. Evie must choose her own path, regardless of what her friends and family think…but it’s a choice she’s finding very difficult.
Dynamic and pacey, this book moves thoroughly across the now familiar landscape on a knife-edge. As the reader comes ever-closer to the end of Evie quest, we face illness, family trauma and the inevitability of consequences for our actions. Evie is growing in confidence, page by page. The choices she makes; decisions she is left to choose from; these all add an emotional turmoil to the tale as Evie struggles to do the right thing recognising with shock that she is not the only one with a hidden secret, that the truth is often fickle and manipulated and that support can come from the most unlikely source; sometimes the source you were trying to protect. And sometimes, you just have to be bold and reckless to accomplish your goal. While there is grave peril and sorrow along the way, there is also encouragement, love and hope. Yes, the consequences are high. Yes, you cannot save everyone, no matter how much love you hold for them. All you can do is your best and trust that will be good enough. A wonderful, enthralling read; complex, dangerous, intriguing…a unique blend of history, adventure, music and magic. A worthy conclusion to a marvelous series.
Many, many thanks to Jackie Burke for sharing the Ladder of Charms with me. I enjoyed every single page. https://www.grindlewood.com/