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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Prophecy of the Gems (The)
by Flavia Bujor
Age Range: 12+
Jade, Opal and Amber, three 14-year-old girls from different social backgrounds,
discover their fates are intertwined by an ancient prophecy that forces them to
leave their homes and travel to a far-off secret kingdom called Fairyland,
inhabited by magical creatures, where they must seek out Oonagh, who lives
in a crystal grotto and is renowned for her wisdom. Pitted against them are
the Army of Death and the evil Council of Twelve. Each girl has a quest – to
reveal the power of the mystical stone that was entrusted to her and to fulfil
the prophecy. Contrasted with this, is a present-day 14-year-old girl, Joa, who
lies gravely ill in a Paris hospital bed. This is her dream, and the three girls’
victory carries with it the secret that could return her will to live.
This debut novel by a 13-year-old received a mixed reaction on publication in the UK. Linda Coverdale is an accomplished translator – having been awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by France – but a few Americanisms creep into the dialogue that don’t sit easily with the rest of the text.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)