By Jaclyn Moriarty
Bronte Mettlestone is ten years old when a telegram announces that her parents have been killed by pirates.
This does not bother her particularly; Her parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. She has been raised by her Aunt Isabelle, with assistance from the Butler, and has spent a pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons.
Now, however, her parents have left detailed instructions for Bronte in their will. (Instructions that, annoyingly, have been reinforced with faery cross-stitch, which means that if she doesn’t succeed, terrible things could happen!) She travels the kingdoms, perfectly alone, delivering gifts to ten other aunts: a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard, a veterinarian aunt who specializes in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship, and a former rock star aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.
But as she travels from aunt to aunt, Bronte suspects that there might be more to this journey than the simple delivery of treasure….
The plot intrigued me. A girl traveling around delivering gifts to her ten aunts while something larger is at stake. Plus, it seemed different from what I had been reading and I was ready for a change. And the title grabbed me. So I dove in.
It was enjoyable, lighter read. The plot wasn’t overly complicated. There was a plot choice that I was hoping the author would make, and she did, so that made me happy. Also, the short chapters made it easy to fit in a chapter or two here and there.
If you are a reader that tries to avoid magic, beware that the magic in this book does play somewhat of a larger role. However, there is a line drawn between good and evil magic.
Cautions: brief mention of one of the aunts having an affair; brief mention of one of the aunts meeting a water sprite while bathing in the ocean