Book Review: Root Bound by Tanya Karen Gough

June 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

emma root bound coverTitle: Root Bound (Emma and The Elementals #1)

Author: Tanya Karen Gough

Genre: YA Fantasy


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How far will you go to find your way home?

Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.

School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies – basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.

Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.

There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.

Root Bound was a delight to read. The story is intriguing, fun and original. When I started reading about Emma, I thought this was going to be your average run-down-the-mill fantasy story about a girl discovering magical creatures in her new house. And, up to that point, it was. Except that the creatures Emma meets are surprisingly original. The Brownies may have roots in ancient mythology, but I certainly never heard of them before, nor had I come across them in a book!

The book is obviously aimed at middle graders or older children, but as an adult I really enjoyed it as well. The main character was unique and relatable, and quite grown up for her age. The Brownies were hilarious. At first, I thought they were like…you know, brownies. The kinds you eat. Brownies come to live. Hah, but then when I read their description, I figured out they weren’t, although it was hilarious to imagine living brownies!

If you have a kid in your house, or you enjoy delightful fantasy reads, Root Bound is a must!


Entry filed under: Book Reviews, Enchanted Book Tours. Tags: , , .

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