The Fog of Forgetting (Book 1 of The Five Stones trilogy) by G.A. Morgan. (Islandport Press, middle grade/YA, July 17, 2014)
The three Thompson brothers--Chase (13), Knox (11), and Teddy (6)--expected an ordinary summer in family house on the coast of Maine. They didn't expect to have new neighbors--Evelyn (13) and Frankie (9), orphaned by the Haitian earthquake. And they most certainly didn't expect that a forbidden excursion out on the waters of coastal Maine would take them through a mysterious fog to a magical land, from which there is (apparently) no returning.
There they find themselves in the middle of a struggle between the powers ruling four different realms, each attuned to one of the four elements. Three of the rulers seek balance; the four, mastery over all, and unless he is stopped, the conflict could spill over to the ordinary world. And there the five children find within themselves sufficient strengths to survive the challenges this conflict throws at them, and gain gifts from the magic of the various realms to which they find themselves attuned. Chase, for instance, finds himself drawn to the element of air, and in the cold of the mountains, the asthma that has plagued him all his life is vanquished by magical healing.
The fantasy elements of The Fog of Forgetting are solid--those who enjoy kids encountering dangers and magics (with some lessons in sword-fighting) will like it. This aspect of the story is strong enough to carry a group of kids who seem at first unappealing (young Frankie excepted--the story of her kidnapping by the evil forces, and the unexpected friend she made in her journey, is my favorite part of the book). But as the kids move past their bickering, lack of respect for each other, and lack of common sense, they are given a chance to become characters the reader can care for, caught up in a sweeping story given depth by the philosophy underlying the fantasy.
I'm awfully pleased to be able to offer a most excellent giveaway in conjunction with this review. The magic of each of the realms within the story is tied to a gemstone, and there are a limited number of necklaces with these stones to be won! This lovely Varuna necklace could be yours; just leave a comment below by 12 noon next Monday, July 28th!
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Disclaime: review copy received from the publisher