From Amazon: While visiting her grandmother's house, an old photograph leads Tanya to an unsolved mystery. Fifty years ago a girl vanished in the woods nearby - a girl Tanya's grandmother will not speak of. Fabian, the caretaker's son, is tormented by the girl's disappearance. His grandfather was the last person to see her alive, and has lived under suspicion ever since. Together, Tanya and Fabian decide to find the truth. But Tanya has her own secret: the ability to see fairies...
I haven't been this excited about a book for quite a while. The Thirteen Treasures is absolutely fantastic, and I can't believe it took me so long to read it.
Michelle Harrison's writing is brilliant, and I now see why she won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. It's quite rare for a book to appeal to me on every level possible, but this one managed it. I loved the characters, the setting, the mystery and the extensive faerie mythology. I was hooked from the first paragraph, and didn't want to put it down for anything.
The quaint-sounding Tickey End is a great location for this adventure to unfold, and I could easily imagine faeries roaming the vividly described woods and surrounding areas. The faeries themselves were fascinating, and I loved the different types that Tanya encountered. My stand-out favourite would have to be Brunswick, an ugly little goblin with a kind heart and thoughts for someone other than himself. I've always been drawn to little creatures, and as soon as he appeared on the page, I was firmly on his side.
As a main character, Tanya was everything I'd hoped for. She was endearing and likeable, and didn't have any irritating qualities or traits. She was trusting and helpful to those around her, and always treated the faeries with respect. Her loyalty and friendship to Fabian was sweet and innocent, and his unwavering dedication to her really shone through at the end of the story. Without him, things would have turned out very differently.
The Thirteen Treasures is a magical, enchanting read, and I can't wait to read The Thirteen Curses. It's about as perfect as a debut novel gets, and is a book that should be on everyone's radar.