Saturday, 11 March 2017

Solomon’s Bell by Michelle Lowery Combs

Title: Solomon’s Bell
Series: Genie Chronicles - Book Two
Author: Michelle Lowery Combs
Genre: YA Fantasy

To save her family, Ginn uses her newfound genie powers to transport herself and her friends to 16th century Prague. Only one thing there remains the same as at home: she can't let anyone know what she really is.

The Emperor of Prague and those closest to him are obsessed with magic. In pursuit of it, they’ve waged war on the citizens of their city. In the citizens' defense, someone has brought to life a golem, a dangerous being with connections to an artifact capable of summoning and commanding an entire army of genies. Can Ginn escape the notice of the Emperor as she attempts to discover a way to defeat Prague’s golem in time to save her family from a similar creature?

Solomon's Bell is the sequel to Heir to the Lamp and the second book of the Genie Chronicles series.

Excerpt #1:

I’m supposed to be studying, so I try not to fathom how my dork of an older brother has ended up with a Barbie like Malory. Algebra, algebra, algebra, I remind myself. You have an exam tomorrow! But it’s no use. Not with Malibu Malory playing Xbox with my brother in the room next door. Something about her makes me tense and irritable. Especially when I compare her straight blonde hair that shimmers in the sun to the curly brown hair abomination I’ve been cursed with… apparently for life. It also irks me that Malory’s the right size for a teenage girl. I tower over all of my eighth-grade classmates like a human skyscraper.

“Wuts wrong?” Caleb Scott texts me.

I’m always amazed at Caleb’s ability to sense my mood even when we’re only texting. I’m tempted to complain about how much Malory’s uber awesomeness is getting under my skin, but I don’t want Caleb taking notice himself if he hasn’t already.

“Nothing. I’m good. Sick of school. Lol. Glad ur back, though.”

It isn’t really a lie—the school year started five weeks ago, and I’m already missing summer. I’ll be okay once basketball season starts in a few weeks, and it helps that Caleb is back at Alexander this semester. He spent most of his freshman year at Plainview High, Alexander’s biggest rival. Caleb is a sophomore like CJ and Malory, so we don’t have any classes together. We do see each other at lunch, though.

Caleb and I aren’t officially a couple—he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend or anything, and I’m pretty sure my parents would say he’s too old for me even if he did. He’s not even sixteen yet! What I can’t say to my mom and dad is: “What’s a two year age difference between people who’ve survived an imp attack together?”

My parents don’t know I’m a genie—neither did I until last year. They’d never let me out of their sight if they knew about the Order of the Grimoire and how they were probably trying to figure a way to summon and imprison me… again… at any given moment. Not a day has passed in the last ten months that I haven’t checked my closet and under the bed for one of the ugly lump-covered, winged imps the Order likes to use to spy on anyone they suspect to be in possession of any kind of magic.

The Author:

Michelle is an award-winning writer and blogger who studied business and English at Jacksonville State University. She lives in Alabama with her husband and their army of children. When not in the presence of throngs of toddlers, tweens, and teens, Michelle can be found among the rows of her family's farm, neglecting her roots and dreaming up the next best seller. She is a member of the Alabama Writers' Conclave and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

Excerpt #2:

The lamp is tucked away in my backpack. I lost it once right after my grandmother gave it to me on my 13th birthday and ever since I’ve tried to keep it with me or very near at all times. I sling the pack over my shoulder and head across the backyard to Dad’s workshop. Any other day, I would have taken the lamp up to the attic—the perfect place, I’ve discovered, for traveling by lamp—but with Malory upstairs with CJ, the attic doesn’t seem like such a good idea this afternoon.

The brass lamp, etched with the swirling figures of mythical animals, is comforting in my hands as I place it gently in the darkest corner of the dank workshop. A quick look around for details I’ll need to recall to get back, and I’m off: hurdling through the open air made golden by dazzling sunshine.
I land on my feet in the fine sand of the beach that exists within the lamp by the will of the most powerful djinni Rashmere says he’s ever known: my long ago ancestor Aliya Muna. The hot sun on my back as I trudge up the beach to a grove of tall palm trees makes me long for Rashmere’s company. I never dreamed I’d miss him so much when I insisted that he see the world again for the first time in centuries.

The sight of the small, dilapidated shack nestled among the palms isn’t the surprise for me it once was. I pull the flimsy door open and step into the vast coolness of my sanctuary. The towering shelves of books along the stone walls seem to call out to me. I’ve been spending several hours each week flipping through the hundreds of volumes and scrolls that line the shelves, but my favorite remains Aliya Muna’s journal. I cross the room and pull the journal, covered in blue dragon’s hide, from its spot on a shelf next to the thick black grimoire Rashmere and I were able to reclaim from the Order last fall. The magic contained in the grimoire includes all the instructions necessary to conjure a djinni—minus, of course, the most important element of any djinni spell: his or her name.

No comments :

Post a Comment