On their fourteenth birthdays, three girls are told that they aren't who they think they are. Jade is not the daughter of the Duke of Divulyon. Amber is not the daughter of the poor peasant woman she's loved all her life. Opal is finally given a reason to exist.
The girls are each given a stone, and then sent away. They are warned to trust no one. On their travels, they discover the land of Fairytale, where they can finally learn their true purpose and hear The Prophecy. Soon it's not only a matter of survival, but a great battle between good and evil. But exactly whose side are the Stones on?
Meanwhile, in a hospital in Paris, a young teenage girl named Joa is on her deathbed, all alone...
My favorite books from my childhood are rarely as good as I remember them to be, especially if years and years have passed since the first time I read it. The Prophecy of the Stones by Flavia Bujor (translated from the French by Linda Coverdale), is different only in the fact that I've never stopped rereading it, and so I gradually grew aware of the fact that it's actually pretty bad instead of suddenly realizing it. Nevertheless, I will never cease to adore this book.
I'm not sure if it's Bujor's writing (she was only 13 when she wrote it) or the translation, but the writing is painfully simplistic and repetitive. The world of Fairytale and the surrounding countries is very black and white with its representations of good and evil, and most of the characters have only two layers, some only one. Amber and Aidan are the the most obvious.
Amber is a very sensitive, emotion-driven girl who cries a lot whenever she's sad or happy, and is the most set on saving the world from evil and uniting everyone in friendship and goodness. Aidan is just... there. Jade has two layers and the most character growth, going from the spoiled princess to the warrior princess over the course of the book and turning into a very cool character. And then Opal, who has always been my favorite, is the cool and aloof one who never shows emotion, but learns how to love and feel etc. The Nameless One is the humble hovalyn, the traveling warrior who has no memory. Some things change about him over the story, but he essentially stays the same character.
The plot is hardly aimless, but not much connects one thing to the next. The girls do things either because they're told by a helpful passerby who happens to know what they should do next or because they "get a strange feeling and know that they should do such-and-such." This is just an excuse to get the plot moving along without actually giving it much thought.
So basically, it's really not very good if you're looking at the minor things like writing, and plot, and characters. But there is something irresistable about The Prophecy of The Stones. Every time I read it, the first few chapters are painful and hard to get through, but then I get to a point where I don't want to put it down. I just want to read one more chapter. And then it's over. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but there's no denying that this book has a certain magic.
So while a 14+ might recoil in revulsion from this brilliantly orange novel, a younger girl would certainly eat it up. I fell in love with it back when I was a little girl (all those years ago), and I've never quite gotten over it. This was the book I would read over and over again, back to front, day after day. This was the book my friends and I would read aloud to each other even though we could quote most of it. This was the book we decided to convert into a play and perform, even though there were barely enough of us just to be the main three girls.
This is a story of magic written by a 13-year-old girl full of dreams.
You might like this if you: like fairytale-esque stories; are a 10-year-old girl; like surreal stories; like books with personifications of Death; like light, young fantasy; or if you just want to feel like a kid again curled up with a favorite book.