The Silver Bowl

RedReviewStarGr 5—8—Adventure, magic, subtle romance, betrayal, and monstrous curses take this book far beyond the typical scullery-maid-makes-good tale. Peasant girl Molly sometimes sees things before they happen, a fine enough reason for her unloving and poverty-stricken father to get rid of her. At age seven, she is abandoned at the door of Dethemere Castle, where she finds work in the kitchen. After years of hard labor, "Gentleman Servant" Thomas takes her under his wing, promoting her to silver polisher, where she is tasked with shining the most beautiful, intricately designed bowl she has ever seen. The minute she touches it, she is filled with intense warmth and sees visions of the demise of the royal family. The rumors of a curse are true. It's becoming more and more powerful, and only she can stop it from destroying the royals. Stanley blends historical fiction and fantasy seamlessly, and her clear, rich language envelops and transports readers. Molly's relationships with handsome Prince Alaric and the kind-hearted stable boy are textured and layered with emotion and dutiful devotion. The protagonist's no-nonsense attitude is balanced by her big heart and a sweet, sharp sense of humor, making her a heroine readers will relate to and cheer for to the satisfying end.—Mandy Lawrence, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX
Molly is a brave and outspoken scullery maid who finds herself, thanks to her less-than-welcome magical powers, breaking the curse that has haunted the royal family for decades. Stanley uses traditional fairy-tale elements to good effect in addition to presenting fresh characters and a surprising, satisfying happy ending for them all.

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