Thursday, April 20, 2017

MG Fantasy Review & Excerpt: Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson

25468984Jorie and The Magical Stones by A.H. Richardson
Publisher: Serano Press
Format:  Paperback
Number of Pages: 268
Published:  December 26th, 2014
SourceIn exchange for an honest review, a review copy was received from the author.
Why I wanted to read this:   Dragons and travel to a magical land.  

Jorie has recently moved to Mortimer Manor with her great Aunt Letty.  An Aunt who isn't fond of her big imagination and propensity for exploring, but plans to have her meet Rufus, the grandson of neighboring Colonel Hercules to keep her occupied.  On her first day at the manor, Jorie finds a book under a floorboard with mysterious writing, drawings, and hieroglyphics inside.  Curious about the drawings, Jorie ventures to the "Tarn", a small lake that is close to the manor and is convinced by a talking cat to step into the water.  Jorie is whisked away to Cabrynthian, a world with dragons, shape-shifting draniks and The Great One, a Wizard who gives her a quest to unite the three stones of Maalog so that an evil sorcerer can't steal their power for himself.  With the help of Rufus and a baby dragon, they travel across Cabrynthia on an adventure to locate the stones. 

Jorie and The Magic Stones is a really sweet story that has a classic feel to it, which I particularly enjoyed.  The beginning really had the feel of Emily of New Moon, where a young girl is exploring her new home after moving in with her stern, but loving Aunt and then quickly moved on to the quest.   Both Jorie and Rufus are eight, "almost nine" which initially struck me as a tad young, but their ages quickly took the back burner as their adventure began to unfold.   The only place the pacing slowed down a bit was toward the middle after the children found the first stone and were making plans to locate the next.  To add some tension to the story, Richardson gives Rufus this horrible history tutor who has plans to acquire the stones for himself, and an evil sorcerer to contend with.  I really enjoyed the addition of Chook, the baby dragon who is sort of like a puppy and follows Rufus around, they're really funny together, but the highlight is these two lovely children and the friendship that they share.  The fantasy elements are written well with just the right amount of detail and the short chapters would make this a wonderful book for parents to read aloud with their children.  There is a hint to a future book, but everything wrapped up rather nicely.     

Excerpt from Jorie and the Magic Stones

Once in the quiet of her room, Jorie closed the door and retrieved the book carefully hidden under the floorboard. She didn’t know why she felt it so important to hide the book, but her instincts told her that this was a very special book that needed to be carefully guarded. Before settling down to study it, she went to open the window in order to hear the sound of the horses when her aunt returned from her errands. In that way, she would have time to put the book back in its hiding place.

Perhaps because of the rain and damp, the window was stuck and refused to open. Although Jorie pushed, it appeared that it was well and truly stuck shut. Jorie returned to her book and opened the pages oh-so-gently. She didn’t understand the words in front of her, even though she was an excellent reader. They were faded and seemed to be written in another language. Jorie spoke quite good French, but this was certainly not French. She thought it might have been Celtic, because there were c’s, and w’s and y’s, and they all seemed to run together.

She found one phrase that caught her attention, and carefully pronounced it under her breath. “Cwythr ogan mosdrath kiranog. I wonder if that is how it is pronounced.” Then in her most dramatic voice she called out, “Cwythr ogan mosdrath kiranog,” and felt a shiver run through her. No sooner had she said this than the window flew open. Jorie’s hand flew to her mouth. She inhaled, staring hard at the window. “That window was stuck and wouldn’t budge an inch, even under my tugging.”

As she regained her composure, Jorie decided she needed to memorize these words. She had always been good at history and could easily remember dates of battles, when kings were crowned, and where, and all the things they make you remember at school. She turned the four words over in her mind, a bit afraid to say them aloud again. What if something else happened? Could it be a spell? Could it be a curse? Was it someone’s name? Although it would be a really long name. Of course, it could just as easily be a recipe for a jar of marmalade! Jorie giggled. They probably didn’t have marmalade back in those days, and why would they put it under a picture of a flying dragon? No — that didn’t make sense.

Jorie studied her new wonderful find for most of the afternoon. After that, she lay back on her bed, her hands clasped under her head, and turned things over in her mind. She thought about the window; now that had been very, very strange! She was sure that Aunt Letty had no idea that the book existed, for had she known, she might have given it to a museum or a library for old stuff. If she had known about it, she wouldn’t have put it under old floorboards, covered with dust and cobwebs.

Jorie didn’t care much for spiders, but she had plucked up her courage and plunged her hands into that space, perhaps sensing that there was a treasure there.

She wondered what her new friend Rufus might think of it. Should she tell him? Could she trust him? Might he not tell grownups, who she believed would take it away immediately, never to be returned? She couldn’t take that chance.

She needed to give her new friend a chance; perhaps Rufus would keep it their secret, and maybe the two of them could put their heads together and find out a little more about this book. Jorie felt that this discovery of hers had more to do with the history of Dunham and its mysterious past than it had as a mere fairy story.

About the Author:

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.

She is also the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. She has more ‘who-dun-its’ planned for this clever and interesting duo… watch for them!

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with Angela on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to


  1. What a beautiful cover! I love fantasy and dragons. This sounds like a book that I will really enjoy. Thanks for sharing. :)