“It is called the Elemental Control. And it is failing. The elements are mere ghosts of their full forces. And, as it fails Delphi, I start to die. I need you to save me, the future of your home, and a very powerful boy.”
Earth, fire, water, wind. Four elements that make up everything Delphi knows to be normal. All her life, she has been a servant to a mysterious man named The Master – until The Master comes to her island home and asks her to undertake a dangerous task in the far-off, elemental lands. Delphi is alone in places with strange secrets and rules, with the fate of her world on her shoulders, and although she makes many friends she also attracts more dangerous attention…
Leo has never known home – and he isn’t exactly a normal boy. When he is kidnapped by a nameless man who tries to force Leo to reveal his powers, he finds he has nobody he can turn to – except a girl in his dreams called Delphi…
Can Delphi find the Elemental Stones to bring the Control back into balance? Will she get to Leo’s prison in time? And, when faced with the ultimate challenge, can Delphi find the inner strength to save everything she loves?
A story about courage, friendship and finding where you belong.
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Original US cover by Laura J. Clements.
UK Edition cover by Elizabeth Lang.
I have had the privilege of reading this book prior to publication. This is a young teen fantasy, that was written by a teen – that is, when Esme Carpenter was a teenager. She has revised it at the age of twenty.
The story is about a girl called Delphi, living on an island that doesn’t state, but has the definite feel, of a Mediterranean island. She is a servant in a regimented household, but quickly gets thrust into an adventure that is both life-threatening and has the state of the world at stake. A familiar line? Yes, but what makes originality isn’t the macro-plot – there are no such new beasts anymore – but it is the way all components of the title hang together. It is original and fascinating.
The land where Delphi lives – the world – isn’t just that. The universe is held together by the balance, and the co-existence, of worlds that represent the four elements. And it is Delphi’s task to journey through these four elemental lands as part of a quest – one I would rather not spoil by divulging to you, the good reader.
This story has it all that a young teen would love (and possibly a mature pre-teen), and most importantly it excludes what young teens don’t want – they don’t want over-indulgence of love, nor the angst of ‘teenagerhood’. This story is adventure-driven with nail-biting episodes. It has magic, deities, and battles. More importantly, it has strong characters, a sense of what evil is about, and what goodness entails. It is also about companionship and faith.
I heartily recommend this story to children from about twelve to fifteen, but adults will love it as well. A deserving 5 stars. – G. Huntman, Australia
A great yarn of a story from a young and rising writer.
Refreshingly different to what’s popular at the moment and that’s a good thing.
Esme Carpenter both thinks and writes ‘outside the box’, but manages to tell a compelling, wonderful story whilst doing so.
Despite the ‘different’ tag, she still manages to have strong female characters and really sinister baddies, just the way it should be.
I loved it, and will be back for more. – I. Hall