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Crystal Bones [Hardcover]

C. Aubrey Hall

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Book Description

April 1 2011 The Faelin Chronicles Book 1 (Book 1)
The first book in a trilogy that features a twin sister and brother who are half-Fae and half-human. When they discover their younger sister is missing, their home burned, and their parents murdered, they seek revenge on their goblin enermies.. Their father’s last words lead them to Eirian, a powerful sword that will take them to their missing sister, if they can keep it out of the hands of their enemies.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Skyscape; 1 edition (April 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076145828X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761458289
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g

Product Description

About the Author

C. Aubrey Hall lives in Norman, Oklahoma

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy for middle school to adults March 12 2013
By D. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"Crystal Bones" is the first book of C. Aubrey Hall's Faelin Chronicles series. In this fantasy novel, readers meet Diello, Cynthe, their little sister Amalina, and their parents Stephel and Lwyneth.

Diello and Cynthe are fraternal twins and considered Faelin because their mother Lywneth is a Fae and their father Stephel is a human. With this the case, there are some milestones in the twins' lives that follow Fae milestones and others that follow humans'.

One of these milestones is the twins' thirteenth birthday. This is when they are to realize any Fae powers they have, and, in the Fae world, acceptance as adult Fae. But the twins, being Faelin, don't really fit into either world, and the birthday is not a happy one. In fact, it goes horribly wrong.

They are sent on an errand, and when they return they find their parents murdered, their farmstead destroyed, and Amalina kidnapped. Their Fae powers are starting to develop, but Diello's gift - Crystal Bones, or the ability to sense magic nearby - is not the one he hoped for.

So, on their own, they must survive, find Amalina, and find where other trustworthy (key word here!) adult relatives are. Their only help comes from a talking wolf puppy named Vassou and an uneducated outcast goblin boy named Scree.

I have read both this novel and the second in the series, "The Call of Eiran." In both, I particularly liked the Welsh flavor the author has given some of the proper names and the fact that the youngsters call Lwyneth Mamee. The one thing I did not like about the two novels considered together is the rather slow pace of the plot. Even though I unintentionally read "Eiran" first, I definitely feel now like I didn't miss anything by doing so. All in all, though, I'll be keeping my eyes open for more in this series and can recommend it for fantasy readers, particularly those about the same age as the twins of this story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Beginning to Trilogy Nov. 11 2011
By Mel Odom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
C. Aubrey Hall's debut novel in her Faelin Chronicles is an awesome and engrossing young adult fantasy book. I read it in a couple of sittings, and my son read it in one day during breaks at school (he's an incredibly fast reader).

The characters, Diello and Cynthe, are thirteen year old twins who are half-human and half-Fae. The book opens up on their birthday, when they're supposed to come into their wondrous Fae powers. That celebration is put on hold, though, because the family runs a struggling farm and those chores can't be put off, which bums out both twins. They do manage to get one break when their mom sends them to Lord Malque to deliver a banquet cloth she's made.

I felt a lot of sympathy for Diello and Cynthe in the beginning when their important birthday doesn't go as planned, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. That day turns out much worse, and that was when the hook on this read was firmly planted.

Hall progresses into the story, mixing in hints of the Fae culture as well as the day-to-day medieval life, and one bad thing turns into a worse one. As if surviving a goblin attack that burns down their farm isn't bad enough, the people the twins turn to for help end up making their lives even worse and their continued existence doubtful, as well as taking away their baby sister.

The twins are well drawn, and there is a definite role reversal. Diello is the one with common sense, while Cynthe is the hothead. She's more athletic than her brother, too. Yet together they make a good team.

The magic in this book is subdued, just touches rather than a major force. Even so, I was surprised when the two cross paths with a talking wolf that gives her life to protect them, then hints at the dark secrets their parents have hidden all their lives.

Although the first book doesn't cover much physical territory, I get the feeling there is a whole, wide world awaiting in the next book, and I can't wait to read it. The foundations of a lot of mysteries are laid in this novel, and there are several cliffhangers as well. Readers looking for an absorbing and gripping fantasy read for will be in good hands with Crystal Bones.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sparkling debut! Dec 13 2012
By Yolanda S. Bean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This YA fantasy series opens up on fraternal Faeilin twins', Diello and Cynthe's, thirteenth birthday and unfolds into virtually non-stop action. From birthday celebrations to disasters, events overcome the pair with a lot of magic, fighting and new friends at every turn. The book features a lot of fantasy "traditional" type characters - from talking animals, magic swords, to elves, goblins and wizards. With the young age of the main characters (the story comes through Diello's eyes), this falls to the younger end of the YA market. And with the strong emphasis on action, the characters all lack a surprising amount of emotional development. This magical land is, however, surprisingly detailed without long sections of exposition, so it will be curious to see if more character development occurs in the remainder of the series. It ends on enough a cliffhanger, that I am definitely looking forward to seeing the twins' adventures continue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed More Story than Build Up April 2 2011
By Lauren - Published on Amazon.com
Crystal Bones by C. Aubrey Hall is the second of the Marshall Cavendish books I was sent to review. It is the first of a trilogy of teen fantasy novels featuring the half fae twins Diello and Cynthe. It is also, again, aimed at a younger audience.

It all starts the night before the twins' thirteenth birthday when Diello hears a voice in the storm calling his mother. This is, of course, foreshadowing into their parents' deep dark past, as mentioned in the blurb. Diello is then disappointed when his father gives him a useful gift for his birthday rather than the traditional fun present and both twins are sent out to do their chores unlike any previous birthday they've had. The first few chapters seem to be pretty well dedicated to reminding the reader that growing up sucks. There are however magic herbs in the morning milk which apparently get the fae either high or drunk and the fair is that day. But they're told not to go because of the dangers of being around humans. It follows that an errand for their mother leads them right into the thick of the fair and straight towards danger! The deck is stacked against our heroes, will they survive and figure out the mysteries surrounding their parents' pasts or are they doomed to failure?

I'm going to say right off the bat that I got caught up in Crystal Bones about halfway through, where the meat of the story started. Up until then had been mostly lead up, background, and foreshadowing which, while necessary to the overall plot, wasn't particularly different from any other coming of age fantasy novel that I've read. There were also some points where it felt like Cynthe could have been omitted from the book, while both twins were billed as the heroes in the blurb it is very much Diello centric. She does get some moments of awesomeness but, all told, could have been removed in favor of making Diello a bit more three dimensional. Hall also seems to think that if humans hating half fae isn't mentioned every time the twins run into a human the reader will forget. This leads to a ton of fantasy racism which can make the book a bit hard to read at times. Crystal Bones gets better as it goes, once I got to the meat of the story I was hooked. Unfortunately it also cuts off rather abruptly in an almost painful sequel hook, leaving a rather unsatisfying ending and a year long wait to find out what happens.

As a final note before I rate it, Crystal Bones seems to be Hall's first novel so I'm sure that most of the kinks will be worked out for the second book. It's also worth noting that, any issues aside, I did enjoy the book it's just that most of what I enjoyed probably constitutes spoilers and I don't want to ruin anything for other readers. That said, I give it a three out of five and a note to myself to keep an eye out for the next one.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Why Does Everything Have to Take so Long?" Dec 30 2012
By fredtownward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Readers are likely to be echoing these sentiments of Cynthe long before she utters them on page 226, but truth is both are mistaken. The grim, horrific events of this book: parents murdered, baby sister kidnapped, farmstead destroyed, land stolen, unhealed wounds and injuries piling up, freedom and lives repeatedly threatened, all take place in a single, terrible week following the half Fae (or Faelin) twins', Diello's and Cynthe's, thirteenth birthday.

They also get their noses repeatedly rubbed in what to their shock (most of) their human neighbors really think of Faelin: somewhat lower in status and less desirable than pond scum. (In fairness to Antrasins they have SOME excuse for their prejudice. The famous Goblin Wars with the Fae were largely fought on their territory, and after finally winning, the Fae apparently did nothing to repair the devastation their victory had wrought in Antrasia, leaving Antrasins with extremely dim views of everyone involved, ESPECIALLY the living proof of "sleeping with the enemy".)

Frankly, I came close to taking away a star because as the awfulness piled up, I was finding it harder and harder to keep reading. A slight lessening of the relentless downbeat at the end stayed my hand this time, but I'm going to have a lot less patience with the sequels The Call of Eirian and Mage Fire if, as some of the reviews suggest, the grim tedium continues.

IMHO there's little to be gained in writing a trilogy so that no one ever wants to reread the first two books!

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