Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper
written by Kazu Kibuishi
- Related Editorial: Kazu Kibuishi's Magical Kingdom
- Related Editorial: Amulet, Book Two: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
- Related Editorial: Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper
Kazu Kibuishi (wildly inventive creator of Flight) starts a new series in Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper. Kibuishi builds on some very common themes in the establishment of the plot of The Stonekeeper, but if the ground covered isn’t exactly the most original to begin with, it manages to introduce some twists and turns that promise to make this series an engrossing saga of good vs. evil, one whose heroine may end up battling her own dark side more than the shadowy figures lining up to battle her now.
The story begins in a car, as young Emily rides with her mother and father as they race along snowy roads to pick up her brother, Navin. A horrifying accident results in the death of Emily’s father—as Emily and her mother watch helplessly—and leaves Emily emotionally stunned.
Two years later, the family moves to an ancestral home in the small town of Norlen, population 28,000, in an undisclosed state. The cavernous creepy house has all the stock chills, like creaky staircases and cobwebby hallways, plus a few unexpected ones. And when the three decide to investigate an odd noise coming from the basement in the middle of the night (during a power outage, natch), the idea of screaming “Don’t go down there!” is possibly the last thing on the reader’s mind. How else, after all, to advance the story and get to the good stuff?
From these rather staid beginnings, The Stonekeeper barrels forward with its magical storyline and whisks the family away, through a portal in the basement, to a dark world with some incredibly fantastical creatures. Emily, having found a glowing amulet back at the house, is surprised to learn it has some impressive powers, and that others are after it as well. With her mother captured, Emily and her brother must navigate the strange land to attempt to rescue her, all while Emily tries to understand what the amulet does and just what it really wants from her.
The Stonekeeper features mild violence and some scary themes, as well as two rather emotionally wrenching deaths. Still, Kibuishi keeps the tone of the book at a level that children over 9 or so should be comfortable with. What young readers probably won’t be comfortable with is the long space between installments of the book—even if they’ve gotten used to such long waits through other magically themed kids series.
The next book in the series won’t be available until September, which is a long time to wait for a series like this. But in true series fiction form, making fans wait and building anticipation is half the fun.