Author: Kamilla Reid
Number of Pages: 316
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Date of Publication: May 31, 2007
“The race of a lifetime is about to begin!”
“It began in the lower left foot of the Cradle, a curving leaf of opulent design. As if someone had taken a brush, dipped it in liquid marble and spread its exquisite alabaster brilliance up along each ornate spindle, each detailed sun and moon and star that embossed the long surface of the railing, each luxurious baluster thickly detailed with angelic children. And when the entire Cradle was a radiant glow of gold and pearlescence, a sheer white veil of light drifted from an unapparent point overhead and draped over it.”
When you’re searching for a new book to read, authors and publishers have only a few things they can do to influence whether or not you pick up that book. One is the cover art. I’ll admit, after picking up “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus” that it is hard not to compare it to Harry Potter. Think about it: three kids in cloaks- two boys (one with red hair and one with dark brown) and one girl, a giant castle in the background surrounded by a creepy forest and maybe a lake, with a large bird with red and yellow feathers framing the picture…. But I understand what they were going for. Essentially they’re saying, “hey if you liked Harry Potter, you’ll like this book!” Guess what? They’re right! Anyways, another factor in whether or not you’ll buy a book is the title. In this case, “the Questory of Root Karbunkulus” really stands out and I think it works well. (Although can I say it is a pain to type it out each time!!)
As for the writing, at times I was struck by the detailing. The excerpt above, for example, is strikingly beautiful. It reads like poetry. This is what creative writing teachers strive to bring of their students. It’s descriptive writing at it’s best. And there are many places throughout the book exactly like this. But it’s not just beautiful descriptive writing. It’s adventure… mystery…. intrigue…. danger…. and magic. And unlike the last book I read (my review for “Cruel Summer” is here) this is a book that is interesting and exciting for all ages- not just children or young adults.
And as for me comparing it to Harry Potter, yes there are similarities. But I think that any new book about children and magic will end up being compared to HP. Reid’s book is certainly different in many ways, and unlike HP where I hated Hermione, in this book I absolutely adore Root. Shouldn’t that be the goal for authors? To have people like their characters? In this case, Reid succeeds, and I have no trouble recommending this book to others.
Still not convinced? Check out the book’s trailer here. And stop by the book’s website, there are a bunch of fun things to do 🙂 But don’t forget to come back here! My interview with the author Kamilla Reid, and details on how to win a copy of the book are below!
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Kamilla Reid, the author of “The Questory of Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist”thankfully agreed to have a short interview with me. Welcome Kamilla, and thank you for spending some time with us.
Q. I know that the title of your book is named after your main character. Can you tell us how you came up with that unique (and hard to type!) name? And what came first- the story or your character’s name?
A. Y’know it’s funny, in one day, miraculously I heard the word used in both of its quite opposing definitions ( I know! What are the odds of that?) And I knew right then and there that that was to be her name. Of course I had to ‘K-ify’ it to make it uniquely hers. It still kinda freaks me out, the serendipity of it. And, though I do love the name I agree that it’s horrendous to spell.
Q. In my review above I mention what comes to mind when I see this cover. Did you have any input in what the cover art would be and are you pleased with the final result?
A. Being that I was the writer/director of a theatre company, I had immediate access to some pretty amazing talent. One being Matthew Brett, who was my set designer at the time. He was the perfect choice as illustrator, not just because of his abilities but because he and I already had a comfortable working relationship. So, I gave him the copy of the manuscript and from there we met regularly and honed the image to what you’ll see over at Book Cover Lovers. It was done in watercolor and is actually quite big, coming up to my waist! I remember we had a bit of a struggle with the green ribbon because, in the first one he did, the ribbon was too small to fit the title and, believe it or not he had to do the whole thing over again! But overall it was great fun and a thrill to watch it develop!
Q. I was pleasantly surprised to see illustrations throughout the text. How was it working with your illustrator, Matthew Brett? I imagine that at times it could have been difficult to get your exact vision down on paper.
A. Sometimes I’d give him the evil eye and say “You didn’t read that part, did you?” because it was so different from the description I’d given. But other times it worked to my advantage. For instance, my initial description of the Sea Wraith had a long, metallic type of mandible coming out from the hood. But Matthew drew something that looked like it actually inhabited the sea and I loved it so much better.
Q. I’ve heard that there may be a second book in the works…? Can you tell us anything about that? I for one am looking forward to it!
A. Oh yes, indeedy! There are five more books to come in the series, one for each successional item and each ending with the elimination of a team. So, in this first book, out of all those hundreds of teams, only six remain to compete for the next item (book 2). And of those, only five will advance to the next item (book 3), then four teams will race for item three (book 4) and so on until only two teams remain to go after the last item. Of course there is another, deeper, darker agenda going on and Root will learn the terrifying truth behind the mysterious items. She will also discover, to her horror that she is not a player in an innocent kid’s race but a pawn in a vicious adult game.
Q. And like my other interviews, let’s finish with my usual final bookish questions! What kind of books do you like to read? What is your favorite book? Who is your favorite author? Finally, what are you reading now and why?
A. It totally runs the gamut. Right now I’m reading my first YA romance, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. Then I’m on to Coraline by Neil Gaiman (finally!), The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Making Money by Terry Pratchett. Woohoo! I loved Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. I don’t think I could pick a favorite. There are way too many! I chose them all for different reasons, sometimes to see what’s out there in the teen world but mostly just to roll around in another’s sandbox for awhile.
Thank you so very much for for granting me this time to share with you and your readers. It was a thrill and an absolute pleasure!
A big thank you to Kamilla for stopping by! You can buy her book- “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist” here. If you’re interested in following her while she’s on her book blog tour, watch for her stops here. Don’t forget to watch the book’s trailer, and stop by the book’s website.
ATTENTION: Kamilla and Blog Stop Tours graciously sent me prizes for one lucky commenter! That’s right, one winner will receive a copy of “The Questory of Root Karbunkulus: Item One: Miist”, a bookmark, and a dog-tags. Did I mention that the book is autographed? To enter, simply comment below and tell my why you want to read this book, AND something about Kamilla’s interview with me. The contest will end August 15th 12:00am EST. For an extra entry, blog about this contest and let me know about it. Good luck!
Thanks to Kamilla Reid, and Dorothy from Authors on Tour.