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Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2019
In the Secret in the Stone, sisters Claire and Sophie travel to Stonehaven so that Claire can begin her training as a Gemmer. In doing so, the sisters hope to awaken precious stones called Moontears that will bring back unicorns and restore magic to the world of Arden, undoing the damage done by their ancestor Queen Estelle. Things... don't go well. In fact, things get even more complicated and dangerous the longer the girls stay in Stonehaven, with no one to trust.
There is definitely no "sophomore slump" for Ms. Benko. This book was filled with even more twists and dramatic reveals than the first book in this series, The Unicorn Quest. Also, this isn't your mother's siblings-from-our-world-go-on-adventure-in-magic-land story. Despite the fact that this book is centered around sisters Claire and Sophie being princesses of the kingdom of Arden with the goal of bringing back unicorns, this is not a light and fluffy fantasy adventure. It's actually quite a bit dark from an adult's point of view, but just dark enough for upper elementary and middle school students to enjoy.
A delightful and exciting followup to The Unicorn Quest, I'm eager to see what lies in store for Claire, Sophie, Nett, Sena and all of Arden in the next book!