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list price: $15.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2008
ISBN:9781897235409
publisher: Thistledown Press

Wild Talent

A Novel of the Supernatural

by Eileen Kernaghan

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historical
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $15.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Fiction
published: Sep 2008
ISBN:9781897235409
publisher: Thistledown Press
Description

Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural is the strange tale of Jeannie Guthrie, a sixteen-year-old Scottish farm worker, who possesses a frightening talent. Believing that she has unintentionally killed her ne'er-do-well cousin, her fear of being sentenced as a witch propels her to flee her home to London. There, Guthrie is befriended by the free-spirited and adventurous Alexandra David, and introduced to Madame Helena Blavatsky's famous salon where she begins to understand the source of her strange powers.

 

With detailed action sequences Kernaghan engages her readers as Jeannie and Alexandra venture from the late Victorian world of spiritualists and theosophists; to the fin de siecle Paris of burgeoning artists, anarchists and esoteric cults; and finally to the perilous country of the Beyond.

 

It is against these eerie late 19th century backdrops that Kernaghan weaves an accessible tale of myth and magic, while at the same time addressing the serious and relevant issues of trust, conviction, and power.

Contributor Notes

Wild Talent: a novel of the supernatural is Kernaghan's eighth book in the historical fantasy genre. The Snow Queen ((Thistledown, 2001)), won the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award, the Aurora, for best speculative novel in English, and was short listed by the Canadian Library Association for Best Children's Book of the Year. The Alchemist's Daughter ((Thistledown 2004)) was shortlisted for the Sheila Egoff Prize for Children's Literature and the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice award. The experimental Dance of the Snow Dragon, a young adult fantasy novel with a Tibetan Buddhist background, was published in 1995 by Thistledown Press. In addition to her fantasy novel work, Kernaghan's poems and short stories have appeared in many North American publications, both mainstream and speculative. EILEEN KERNAGHAN lives in New Westminster, British Columbia.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 15
Grade:
7 to 10

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Wild Talent: A Novel of the Supernatural

As a child, Jeannie Guthrie dreamed of writing books and exploring the wonders of words. In reality, she knew that this would never be her lot in life and she accepted the days of backbreaking farmwork that came once she was hired out as a bondager to raise money for her family. However, never did she imagine that she would be forced to flee her native Scotland out of fear that she would be accused of witchcraft!

Yet flee she has, after an accident in which she believes has left her loathsome cousin dead. She makes her way to London where the energetic and adventurous Alexandra David takes her under her wing. Jeannie soon finds herself immersed in the world of spiritualists and theosophists, especially once she is employed by the renowned and colourful Madame Helena Blavatsky, head of the British theosophist movement. Reluctantly, Jeannie must face her own frightening abilities – the strange powers that she possesses and deeply fears.

Her life continues to take unexpected turns which lead her ultimately to Paris, where the world’s fair beckons and her dear friend Alexandra once again introduces her to a whole new world – one of artists and anarchists, rebels and would-be reformers. As Alexandra becomes increasingly introspective and begins entertaining some dark and disturbing thoughts, Jeannie knows she must find a way to bring her friend back to a better place within herself.

Eileen Kernaghan creates a richly atmospheric tale that captures a range of realities of the late nineteenth century. It is an evocative and mesmerizing tale, told through the eyes and in the voice of an earnest and endearing young woman. The vividly realized setting and quietly appealing protagonist lend this story an irresistible allure, both to readers of historical fiction and those who will be drawn by its more fantastical and otherworldly elements.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

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