illus. by Jaime Zollars. 480p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062427731.
Gr 4–7—Twelve-year-old Quicksilver was raised in a convent and has never fit in. She is, however, an extremely stealthy thief. She secretly witnesses a stranger arrive in the middle of the night and hurt Mother Petra. Quicksilver flees for the closest town with her dog, Fox. There they meet a young boy called Sly Boots and, incredibly, an elderly, time-traveling Quicksilver. The older woman informs Quicksilver that she is a witch. Furthermore, old and young versions of herself have been traveling through time for generations to fight the evil Wolf King. Young Quicksilver, Fox, and Sly Boots are thrust into the urgent quest to destroy the Wolf King's source of power before he annihilates the realm's last remaining witches and probably the Star Lands themselves. The most enchanting feature of this story is the character development. At first, Quicksilver is not entirely likable. Her rebellious streak is attractive, but she is decidedly self-centered and stuck in a cycle of reciprocal bullying with another orphan. As Quicksilver's adventure begins, readers slowly start to see her put others' welfare before her own, all the while grumpily denying that it means anything or that she even cares. It is not until at least halfway through the book that Quicksilver honestly admits to herself that she cares about her companions. Her gradual growth over the course of the novel is a powerful triumph. Quicksilver will resonate strongly with any reader who has ever reacted to fear by building emotional walls.
VERDICT A fine purchase. Recommend to fantasy readers, especially fans of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy.

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