THE PROPHECY OF THE STONES
Translated by Linda Coverdale
On their fourteenth birthday, three girls, strangers to each other, are sent on a quest to save the land of Fairytale. Each bearing the stone she is named for, Jade, Opal, and Amber form an uneasy alliance as they try to discover exactly what it is they are meant to do. Meanwhile, in a world much more like our own, a young girl lies comatose in a hospital bed, dreaming uneasy dreams about three girls whose success or failure will mean life or death to her.
Flavia Bujor was thirteen when she wrote this book, and fifteen when it was published. THE PROPHECY OF THE STONES wants to be a lovely fairy tale imbued with serious thoughts about the state of the world, but it never quite hits the mark. It's difficult to tell if this is due to the translation from the original French, or to the author's youth and inexperience. Long descriptive passages contradict themselves, and are filled with words that often fail to be coherent. Bujor fails to tie her two worlds together, except through characters' names: the modern story gets short shrift and is left hanging, while the fairy tale resolves itself in a string of cliches. There is no doubt that young Ms. Bujor has a great deal of talent, but she needs to do a lot more reading and writing to help it mature, and spend some time with a judicious editor who will help her sharpen her plotting and imagery.