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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Leslie and Taylor loved their dance teacher Madame Lumiere and built their self-confidence as she taught them. Madame Lumiere was in her eighties and was one of the oldest dance instructors, yet she was amazing. The lady was from Larkspur and had a slight Irish lilt to her voice; she even made their dresses (complete with a touch of magic). During a recital the girls heard their cue and danced on the stage when suddenly Taylor felt dizzy and began to fall; both girls landed softly on a carpet of grass. A young man named Redmond rushed to them thinking one of them was Luminara. He explained to the girls that Luminara (Madame Lumiere) was the true queen of the realm of Larkspur. A female warrior named Puranna used dark magic against Larkspur’s king and queen, luring them into the Murky Realm never to return. Puranna declared herself to be the new queen and hypnotized the villagers when they tried to rebel. She also banned dancing in the kingdom. Redmond introduced the girls to Claire, Luminara’s sister and the next in line to the throne. Can the girls save the kingdom of Larkspur? Are they truly up to the task set before them? Can they dance the dance that will bring Luminara home?
Anastacia Hawkins offers readers a mystical journey into the land of Larkspur. Her tale reads much like the fairy tales I grew up on. She has created characters that are likable and endearing. Who would not like Redmond, Taylor, Leslie and Luminara? Larkspur is simple and easy to read, with 102 pages. I would like to see Hawkins expand the plot or make this a series. Female readers from third to sixth grade will quickly be swept away by this tale. On the stage of my mind’s eye I could see the scenes as they played out. Hawkins has combined, adventure, action, and romance in this tale; what more could a reader ask for? Well done Ms. Hawkins, what else do you have in store for your fans?