________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 15. . . .December 15, 2017


Fractured: When Shadows Arise. (The Cup, Sword and Stone Series, Bk. 1.).

Cathy Hird.
Grapevine, TX: Waldorf Publishing, 2017.
261 pp., trade pbk., $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-944782-59-7.

Grades 8-10 / Ages 13-15.

Review by Teresa Iaizzo.

**½ /4



“Understanding is what you seek? Then, Coreliana you will hear a story, not a fairy tale but a true elven story.” Ciomach stood absolutely still. The only part of him that moved were a few strands of his auburn hair, pushed by the gentle breeze. His lips curved slightly upward in a tiny smile that did not touch his eyes.

“Perhaps one of the stories of the seal-people who can lose their skin and walk the land, for a while. That would teach you the way shapes shift and flow in the world. Or better, a farmer who follows a cat into a cave and is drawn down to the land beneath.”

“Ciomach!” Stewart’s face looked truly worried.

“Let him speak, Dad.” Dara thought maybe Ciomach would let them know something of what was going on, if only through the tale he told.


Dara is a high school senior who is getting ready to go to university in the fall, but everything changes the night her best friend is attacked by a mysterious shadow creature. Shortly after, things in Grey County start going terribly wrong. Traffic lights start malfunctioning, clocks are slowing down, earthquakes and powerful storms are wreaking havoc in the County, and more and more shadow creatures are appearing. Once Dara and her friends start investigating these strange occurrences, they find out that sometimes fact is even stranger than fiction.

      Dara’s father Stewart, whom everyone believes to be a goldsmith, is, in fact, an alchemist who is trying to make a breakthrough in the field of power generation. By using an ancient goblet that belongs to the elven goddess Ceridwen, Stewart begins tapping into deep pockets of power and light that belong to the Faerie world. In doing so, he disrupts the balance between Faerie and Earth and inadvertently unleashes havoc in both lands. To make matters worse, Stewart gets trapped in the conduit that he opened, and Dara and her friends must travel to the deep recesses of the elven world to retrieve him and help restore the balance that his experiments have disrupted.

      Hird’s Fractured: When Shadows Arise is the first book in “The Cup, Sword and Stone” series. Weaving together Celtic mythology, fantasy and lore, Book One is a delightful, fast-paced YA novel that will leave readers wanting more. What I particularly liked about this book was Hird’s use of various myths and folklore and how she expertly wove them into the storyline. Although, at times, the plot was a bit predictable, Hird’s use of Celtic myths helped to make the story fresh and exciting.

      On the other hand, I did have a hard time with Hird’s use of dialogue throughout the novel. At times, she struggles with the way that teenagers speak, and it showed in the encounters with Dara and her friends. The language was a bit too formal and not very reminiscent of the way that young adults speak today.

      However, as a whole, Fractured is an enjoyable read and will leave readers wanting more. I, for one, cannot wait until book two in the series is released!


Teresa Iaizzo is a librarian with the Toronto Public Library.

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