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The Silver Bowl

Unwanted at home, Molly goes to work for the king of Westria as a scullery maid.  She arrives at the castle with no education, no manners, and a very disturbing secret. She sees visions, and those visions always come true.

One day, while she’s working in the king’s great hall, young Prince Alaric passes by.  Molly finds him unbearably handsome—also unbearably arrogant and rude.  But what does it really matter?  She’ll probably never see him again.

In time Molly is promoted to polishing silver and is given a priceless royal treasure to work on: the king’s great ceremonial hand basin.  But there’s something odd about it.  The silver warms to her touch, a voice commands her to watch and listen, and then the visions appear.  They tell the story of a dreaded curse that has stalked the royal family for years.  There have already been deaths; soon there will be more. As tragedy after tragedy strikes the royal family, Molly can’t help but wonder: Will Alaric be next? Together with her friends Tobias and Winifred, Molly must protect the prince and destroy the curse.  Could a less likely champion be found to save the kingdom of Westria?

Recognition & Awards

“Combining carefully chosen details of setting with a richly realized fantasy premise, Stanley succeeds in creating a believable world large enough to accommodate not only menace and evil but also loyalty, enduring friendship, and love.   The central characters–Molly and her friend, the stable boy Tobias–come wonderfully alive as their story unfolds and their mettle and character are tested . . . Stanley has done a particularly good job of investing her story with plausibility and creating dialogue and a narrative voice that are spot-on in both tone and suitability.”

–Michael Cart, starred review, Booklist

“Veteran Stanley concocts a delicious blend of familiar fairy-tale motifs and intriguing, well-rounded characters to create an engaging fantasy. . . Stanley’s writing is smooth and compelling, making her characters come to life and ensuring that readers can easily follow the twists and turns of the inventive plot.  While there is indeed a villain as well as some not-so-nice characters, Stanley’s nuanced portraits encourage readers to consider motivation as well as actions.  Touches of humor lighten the tone at times, while suspenseful sequences heighten the tension.  A most worthy and enjoyable entry into the ‘feisty female’ fantasy genre.”

–starred review, Kirkus

“Stanley blends historical fiction and fantasy seamlessly, and her clear, rich language envelops and transports readers.  Molly’s relationships with handsome Prince Alaric and the kind-hearted stable boy are textured and layered with emotion and dutiful devotion.  The protagonist’s no-nonsense attitude is balanced by her big heart and a sweet, sharp sense of humor, making her a heroine readers will relate to and cheer for to the satisfying end.”

–starred review, School Library Journal

The Silver Bowl
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