By Awnali Mills
Long ago, Father carved Mayka and her animal companions from stone. But Father is long dead now, and over time their marks, the marks that keep them alive and functioning, are fading. When Turtle finally quits moving, Mayka decides that it’s time to take action. She will leave the mountain, go to the town of Skye, and find a stonemason to recurve their marks. The stone birds Jacklo and Risa insist on coming with her.
The three friends discover that the city is much more complicated than the mountain. Even among the many stone creatures, the friends are unique and no one has ever seen a stone girl before. Soon they find themselves in danger of never being allowed to leave, but the danger to themselves is only the beginning. The freedom of every stone creature is in jeopardy. Can Mayka and her friends stop the enslavement? Or are they too late?
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of The Girl Who Drank the Moon. The world felt new and completely different to me, but at the same time, it had the flavor of an old fairy tale—familiar and comforting. I know that doesn’t make sense, but there it is. Mayka is sincere and honest, and reads just like a girl who has grown up in an uncomplicated environment.
Most of all, I loved the idea of the marks that animate the creatures. Each mark tells the story of the creature and shapes their personality. But the book teaches us that we are the masters of our own stories, and we get to determine for ourselves if we’re going to follow the course laid out for us or if we’re going to change. Put this in the hands of 3-7 graders who like fantasy, adventure, fairy tales, or just a good story.