Monday, January 30, 2023

MMGM with a review of Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu by Erika Lewis

Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu by Erika Lewis
Publisher:  Starscape
Format:  E-ARC
Number of pages:  432
Publishing:  July 25th, 2023
Source: Edelweiss +

Opening Lines:  "A thunderous rumble woke Lexis before dawn. Half-asleep, she stumbled out of bed to the window."

The Hunt for the Heart of Danu begins just after summer vacation.  Kelcie Murphy is excited to have returned to the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts, however, this is not going to be an ordinary school year.   Shortly after her arrival, Kelcie and Brona receive a visit from their mother's, warning them of an upcoming disaster that will impact all of Summer.  At the same time Lexis is in Winter holding off a Giant attack by Summer.  Just as she and her fianna successful defend the attack, they're summoned for a meeting with The Queen, who plans to send them on a special mission, deep under cover to steal the Heart of Danu, the source of all light and warmth within Summer.  The news could not have come at a worse time for Summer as it is The Year of Ascencion, and everyone is distracted by the ball, parade and the rumors as to who will be the Regent to assume the throne.  Can Kelcie uncover the plot to destroy Summer and save her friends and family from the omen prophesized by her mother?      

It's been a long while since I've read this book and unfortunately the E-ARC is no longer available to me for reference.  It was first available on Edelweiss+ but then was later taken down for some revisions.  The publication date seems to also have moved from May to July.  Well, suffice to say, I'm a little rusty with my notes, so any errors are my own.  

Kelcie grew up in the human world and is still getting her bearings and coming to terms with her father being known as an infamous traitor.  She's also new to her powers and has had difficulty in managing them, with the help from her friends she's improved her skills, but her fear of water has lingered and impeded her in harnessing its power.  What I recall enjoying about this story is the sort of Lightening Thief meets Holly Black's Magisterium series and the strong bonds that Kelcie seems to have formed since the first book.  The comraderies, banter and the sense that she would do anything to help her team.  In the previous book, I was rooting for her and Niall to grow closer.  Their relationship is complicated to say the least.  I also rooted for Kelcie to get some long due answers about her father's imprisonment, but again there felt like some lingering issues that hopefully will be addressed in the next book.  This time around I enjoyed learning more about Lexis, her motivations and desires.  She's in a tough spot and tries to be true to Winter and her own fianna.  While she sympathizes with Kelcie and Summer, she's also very conflicted about the situation the Queen of Winter has placed her in.  Overall, I enjoyed the Celtic mythology, the action, the distinction between Summer and Winter and their ongoing battle, and the magical system of dens each with their own unique powers and of course the twists and turns that keep me eager for the next book.   

I hope you'll check all the other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.   


Greg Pattridge said...

I enjoyed the first Kelcie Murphey book last year so I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the hints about the plot. Happy MMGM!

Sue Heavenrich said...

I, too, enjoyed the first Kelcie story.I love the idea of an Academy of Unbreakable Arts - and the universal problems they face (despite it being fantasy)

Rosi said...

Wow. There is so much going I'm not sure I could keep all of this straight. Thanks for letting me know about it. I have some fantasy fans in the family.

Valinora Troy said...

The first book is on my TBR (and has been for a while!), it sounds a fun story and I am intrigued by the Irish connection. Thanks for sharing! I will endeavour to move it up the list!

Carol Baldwin said...

Sounds like an intriguing story. You did pretty well with this review without having the book to refer to!