My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An awesome all ages fantasy, steampunk read! This is a long, indepth story divided into chapters that had me so riveted, I read the whole book in one sitting. At first glance the black and white illustrations which appeared somewhat crowded was a bit off-putting before I started but mere pages into the story I was so engrossed I embraced the artwork and didn't think twice about the lack of colour. The main character, Alanna is 11 and completely endearing. Animal lovers will find her a kindred spirit right away. Sharing the spotlight, antagonistic to Alanna yet equally sympathetic is his older brother who is trying to take the role of provider now that they are orphaned. A story suitable for the 8-12 age range but so deep and engrossing I'd heartily recommend to much older readers as well. This is one of those special finds for me and I'm so glad to have read it and can only hope we see Alanna, Hamel, Margolyn and Griffin in a sequel.
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