Book Review – The Adventures of Annie Marmalade: Quest for the Ronji Crystal


The sacred Ronji Crystal has been taken from the magical town of Goodhaven.The crystal holds a curse that prevents the Giants of the dark mountains from attacking the town. The king of Goodhaven sends his son, Prince Marion, to retrieve it. His request, take neither man, woman, nor boy with him. Prince Marion finds his solution in a small girl with a special gift. Annie Marmalade has the power to turn any item into a dessert. Prince Marion simply wants Annie to open the entrance to Debor. When the door slams shut, Annie Marmalade and Prince Marion are forced to work together to retrieve the crystal from the depths of Debor. Journeying through the tunnels of the dark mountains, they learn the secrets of Debor. Annie uses her gift to create desserts to battle King Ontross and his minions. She creates rivers of caramel, licorice lassos, and even gummy bears to help Prince Marion return the Ronji Crystal to Goodhaven. This, however, is just the beginning.

Aimed at ages 8 and up The Adventures of Annie Marmalade: Quest for the Ronji Crystal is a fast paced, fun read. I whizzed through this book while my daughter was at dance class. I would love to have Annie’s gift of making delicious desserts!

Nine year old Annie sets out on an adventure with Prince Marion to recover the stolen Ronji Crystal. Along the way they encounter many obstacles and enemies. Annie uses her magical gift of turning anything into dessert to battle their opponents. Julian Vaughan Hampton has created a unique story that younger readers will enjoy.

This is a plot driven book that zipped along. I would have liked more character development but then it would probably not hold the interest of the target audience.

One of my favorite scenes from the book entails the Prince apologizing to Annie after they’ve just been attacked. Annie replies:

“What do you mean? This has been the best day ever.”
“I never get to do anything this exciting”

This so reminds me of the difference between the way adults and kids view different situations. The book wraps up nicely and sets the story up for another adventure.

Cover Note: I misplaced this book one afternoon and was asking if anyone had seen it. My kids and husband both asked if it was the cookbook I had misplaced. Because I received an uncorrected proof my copy is spiral bound, with the picture of the baker and gummy bears on the front they thought it was a cookbook. Once we get to know Annie and her “gift” for baking thinking it was a cookbook is not too far off.

Annie Marmalade will be released in December 2010.

Rating: 4 Stars –
(As is I would give it 3.5 stars. I received an uncorrected proof of this book. There were some spelling and grammatical errors as well as a couple continuity errors and weak transitions. Assuming those will be caught and corrected before this goes to print – 4 Stars).

Content: Clean

Source: From Author for Review