The Ruby Key by Holly Lisle

The Ruby KeyGenna and Dan live in a fantasy medieval world. They are unusual siblings because the younger, Dan, has his own ghost who can warn him of danger and Genna has been studying with her mother to be a healer. There is an uneasy truce between mankind and the nightlings who live in the forest and lately some people have been disappearing or contracting a strange illness. Genna and her brother Dan decide that they have to venture into the forest at night to extract a magic liquid to heal their mother. Their father has already disappeared and they are afraid that their uncle is plotting against their family.

So this story begins. They are captured by the nightlings and end up making a bargain with the evil ruler of the nightlings which they hope will save their parents and their neighbors. Initially their quest seems to have little chance of success but a nightling comes with them and helps them avoid the demonic blind hounds which are sniffing them out. They are also befriended by a strange cat who can talk. They journey on moonroads which sometimes take them out of danger and sometimes deliver them into danger and sometimes they are unsure about who is a friend and who is a foe.

This is a fun quest to go on from the safety of your armchair! Good fantasy literature for children in 5th and 6th grades with a promised sequel.

Posted by: Fran W.

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