About Book One: Verity Gallant is a lonely little girl who doesn't quite fit in. But when a mysterious stranger hands her an ancient book, everything changes. Suddenly it's up to her to solve the riddle of an ancient pledge and protect her family from the evil Mistress of the Storm. What hope does she have against a witch so powerful she can control the wind and create storms at will? Luckily, Verity does not have to face her enemy alone. As events begin to spiral out of control, she finds two loyal and steadfast friends to stand by her side.
The Storm is coming. And it will change Verity's life forever.
One Review: "The setting and cast of characters are so richly described readers will see the scenes, which cut from one to another, as if watching a movie. For those not content to stay on the surface, there are psychological depths to plumb, a point made in a regrettably didactic last chapter.
"This is an exciting debut—with the promise of more to come—that will leave readers clinging to their seats, or masts, as the case may be."
About Book Two:After a wonderful summer of sailing, Verity Gallant just wants life to stay the same forever. But as she should know by now, not everything in life turns out as we would like. The land is shifting beneath the ancient harbour town of Wellow, causing mysterious caves to appear in cliff faces, terrifying rock falls, and dangerous landslides. And the earth isn't the only thing crumbling . . . Verity is thrilled that Jeb has returned, but their feelings for each other threaten her friendship with Henry and Martha.
Verity and her friends are embroiled in a tale of evil, intrigue, and lost love, as a powerful force works its way towards Wellow, hell-bent on putting an end to all happiness. The Heart of Stone is the key, and the race is on to find it.
The Setting: "The town of Wellow lay still and expectant under a silent sky. Above the bay, its houses clung to the curved cliff-face. The small white fishermen’s cottages clustered round the harbour. Further up, the stone villas grew larger and more ornate as they ascended. At the top, the Manor dominated the skyline to the west, while to the east was Priory Bay College." -Mistress Of The Storm
The Lead Character: "Verity did not match the rest of the Gallants. Her solemn little face with its pink cheeks and charcoal eyes wavered constantly between very pretty and very plain. But it wasn’t just her looks. Like all good parents, Verity’s mother and father had lined up the full range of appropriate activities for their daughters: horse-riding, piano lessons, dance classes, choir practice . . . the list ran on and on. Poppy seemed to love them all, and Verity didn’t want to be ungrateful, but sometimes, when she was walking down the hill, she caught herself looking out to sea and wishing it was possible to pick herself up in the air and fly away. To feel the wind in her hair, and dirt on her face."
-Mistress Of The StormOne Great Line: "Not everything in life turns out as we would like. But things can change." -Mistress of The Storm
What Others Are Saying: "Verity is a sympathetic and engaging heroine, and readers will appreciate her friendships and relationship with Poppy, who becomes more sympathetic and supportive as the story evolves. Verity’s grandmother is a threatening, looming presence, and her meek parents add a touch of humor. Fantasy fans will enjoy discovering along with Verity that behind everyday small-town life is a world that offers hidden magic–and not-so-hidden danger." -School Library Journal
“A really gripping magical debut with a strong girl heroine.” -The Book Seller
What I Thought: As you can probably already tell, I'm totally in love with the setting and main character. The setting is along the seacoast, one of my favorite places in the world. Verity is not your normal lead character, she feels like the odd one out most of the time. The friendships between Henry, Martha and Verity are honest in that they go through their own set of struggles. Anyone who loved Over Sea, Over Stone by Susan Cooper will feel right at home in Verity's world. Of course after reading about half of Heart of Stone, I realized I wanted to read the first in the series, Mistress of the Storm. So I am currently reading that and will finish Heart of Stone after. This tale is filled with mystery, adventure and magic. At the heart is the understanding that stories are not only important, they are powerful. Even more exciting is that there are two more books in the series to come out over the next couple of years.
About The Author: M.L. Welch
Publisher: Random House
David Fickling Books
Who: M. L. WELSH spent her formative years in the sailing town of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. The tightly bound community, maritime history, and captivating landscapes of the southern island were all sources of inspiration for the fictional town of Wellow in which Mistress of the Storm and Heart of Stone are set. Melanie lives in Suffolk, near the seaside town of Southwold, with her husband Lucien and their two sons, Joe and Ben.
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