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The Bone Flute [Paperback]

Patricia Bow
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2004
Camrose, a perfectly normal 12-year-old, has inherited responsibility for an ancient bone flute, an object of quest for two time-wandering rivals, one of them lord of the Otherworld. With the help of her friend Mark and the not-quite-human Miranda, Camrose braves fire and much worse to claim the flute and restore it to its rightful--and unexpected--owner.

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From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. The strangeness begins on Camrose's twelfth birthday. As she dives into the Ottawa River with her friends, a creepy, disembodied voice speaks: "It's begun." She is unsure what, exactly, has started until she opens a mysterious letter from her long-deceased great-aunt. Camrose has become the Keeper of an ancient bone flute, which, if returned to its "rightful claimant," will settle a dispute between ancient rivals from other worlds. If Camrose gives the flute to the wrong party, as her great-aunt did, she could mortally endanger her loved ones. With the help of her best friend, Mark, Camrose bravely pieces together the mystery of the flute's power, even as she fights terrifying supernatural forces. The background legend of the flute lacks development; Bow skims over the details in abrupt explanations of the flute's history. But readers able to overlook some fuzzy plot points will enjoy the well-paced suspense; tough, endearing Camrose and sidekick Mark; and the contrast between the placid, cozy, Canadian town and the wild magic of the Otherworld. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"A tantalizing blend of mystery, adventure, and fantasy that keeps readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish." "Highly recommended." (Canadian Book Review Annual 2004-11-15)

"Well-paced suspense." (Booklist 2005-04-18)

"The creepy suspense is extremely well conveyed." "Very enjoyable entertainment." (Resource Links 2004-11-15)

"A mysterious adventure." (Canadian Children's Book News 2005-04-01)

" . . . an intricate, suspenseful plot . . ." " . . . rich with detail . . ." "This talented author's second contribution to the English market is nothing short of a total success, and children's literature in Canada is all the better for it." "Highly Recommended." (CM Magazine 2004-10-15)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous novel! Nov. 7 2005
This is a fabulous novel. A little bit creepy and suspenseful and very well written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review in CM . . . . Volume XI Number 4 . . . . Oct 15,2004 Dec 3 2004
By Quoting from - Published on
Twelve-year-old Camrose is a girl with a very difficult choice to make. When she receives a mysterious birthday present from her long-dead great-grandmother, her perfectly normal life takes an unusual turn. Camrose becomes a Keeper, entrusted with a bone flute which she must return to its rightful owner. The problem: she must first claim the flute from a burning ghost house. The second problem: the ancient instrument is the object of desire for two rivals, both of whom have the ability to weave in and out of modern time as easily as walking through doorways. One of them, the mysterious, charming Terence, appears in her life as a traveling cousin, while the second, the ragged, timeworn bard Diramid, plays his uillean pipes in Camrose's neighbourhood square. With Camrose's father away, her mother long dead, and a generally unsupportive older sister, Camrose feels rather alone in her situation. How does Camrose finally make her decision? The reader bites her nails right along with Camrose as the book speeds to its breathtaking conclusion, with more than a few obstacles along the way.

Patricia Bow has not only constructed an intricate, suspenseful plot, but a cast of likeable (and some not-so likeable) characters as well. Readers of all ages will easily relate to Camrose's inner struggle as Keeper of the precious flute - she is a normal girl attempting to figure out a decidedly not-so-normal situation. The ever-faithful albeit occasionally skeptical Mark offers support for Camrose throughout the novel; their dialogue is brisk and believable. Not-quite-human Miranda, Camrose's great-grandmother's one-time helper, appears to not only offer some sort of cryptic help but also a bit of comical strangeness. Terence, the lord of the Otherworld, is the perfect level of sinister - you can easily imagine his eyes twinkling with evil every time he appears.

Bow is no stranger to writing great fantasy, having written the equally superlative The Spiral Maze (Thistledown Press, 1997). The Bone Flute is her second novel published in English; her signature blend of supernatural fantasy thrillers have been extensively published in German. Rich with detail and allusions to Celtic myths, Bow's roots as a master storyteller shine through magically here. This talented author's second contribution to the English market is nothing short of a total success, and children's literature in Canada is all the better for it.

Poetic, gripping and masterfully written, Patricia Bow's The Bone Flute is fantasy at its finest.

Highly Recommended.

Christy Goerzen is a Master of Arts in Children's Literature candidate at the University of British Columbia and Communications Coordinator for the Vancouver International Children's Festival.
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