Circle of Dreams: Starweaver by Linda McNabb is the third in Linda McNabb’s  Circle of Dreams series after #1 Runeweaver and #2 Timeweaver. I would recommend reading the previous two before embarking on the third, as there is a wide range of characters and arcane mythology surrounding runes which takes a while for the new reader (even old ones like me) to absorb.

Young Zaine the starweaver is caught up in a battle to prevent time slowing to a complete stop, while at the same time trying to assist Princess Guyan with the struggles in her overcrowded world of Zhan. Zaine, Guyan and his sister, Maata slip through the dream circle to Zhan where they meet Dom the finder and her little sister, Jelena and cat, Choo. The king has been poisoned by his brother, Eldric who lusts after the throne, so Zaine’s knowledge of herbal medicine is needed desperately.

As if this isn’t enough bad news, the storm dragons – previously thought to be immortal, are falling sick. Without them, all worlds will fall apart,  as they keep time in balance. And the home front isn’t much happier – Queen Trianna refuses to behave warmly towards her son and Zaine despairs of ever being accepted by her.

This tale will suit confident boy and girl readers of about 10 and above. Fantasy fans and magic enthusiasts should start with Runeweaver and see where it takes their imaginations. I have been trying to get one of my book club boys to read it so I can get a child’s perspective on it, but despite my best efforts there were no takers. This surprised me because I think the cover is particularly appealing. But they seem to be more interested in Zac Power and Beast Quest at the moment.

I tried shelfari and librarything, but it doesn’t exist according to shelfari and it is only on librarything because I added it to my list! Time will tell.

Argenta Needs to be Saved

the aliens have arrived

In Argenta by Stephanie Hills Anquin the bird boy lives on an inhospitable planet called Argenta. He hasn’t seen his parents for years and he is sick of collecting tuskerweed to feed the Clan. As if that isn’t enough to ruin his day, Grandmother Cormar has given him very bad news – because he is a special hatchling he won’t be going on a Mission, like his parents and the other adult birds. He must stay and guard the eggs and pass on special knowledge to the new generation. Anquin doesn’t want to be special, he wants to have adventures. So he takes an adventurous and totally prohibited step and flies towards the Forbidden Zone. What he finds there changes his life for ever, in ways he never expected…

Meanwhile, on Earth, Martin dreams of saving the Earth from the Gorgozoids and being a hero. The summer holidays are pending and the most exciting thing in his life is his mother’s protest to save some local bush from mining. But things change when a casual walk among the trees brings him face to face with a real life alien…Before he knows where he is,the alien is his friend and they’re working together to save both their planets from the evil Dorgazoids.

This is a fun story that will appeal to boys and girls of about 8 to 12 years. It mixes science fiction and fantasy and both main characters are lively and engaging. It has themes of rebellion and the dangers of conformity, but isn’t preachy about it. A good read for chilly winter nights