Hannah is almost thirteen when she discovers her family is cursed…
Desperate to break the dark spell and find her missing father, Hannah starts a treacherous journey back in time. If she can find all four pieces of a magical puzzle ring, her family will be reunited. But her quest takes her back to the days of Mary, Queen of Scots - a time when witches are burned at the stake and danger lurks everywhere.
Can Hannah put the puzzle ring together fast enough to save her family?
I was contacted by the author to read this as part of the blog tour and although it's not something that I usually read (just mention fairies and I'll put the book down immediately, lol), but I must admit I was intrigued by this one, partly due to the cover and also because it just sounded so mysterious ... I'm so glad I was invited to take part in this blog tour as I really, really enjoyed this book!
It's a story of 12-year-old Australian girl Hannah, who travels to Scotland with her mother to visit the relatives she never knew existed! Furthermore, she learns that her family was cursed after her distant relative from the 16th century Lord Montgomery married a fairy called Eglantyne and had 'the puzzle ring' made for her; then one day he thought she cheated on him and he kicked her out and she cursed the family and broke apart the puzzle ring so that they will not be happy again until the four pieces of the puzzle ring are put together again ... Hannah learns that her father disappeared nearly 13 years ago when he was trying to break this curse so Hannah is determined to do the same. So after doing some research, she decides to travel back to the 16th century and try to find the missing pieces of the puzzle ring herself, armed with the hag stone and accompanied by her three friends, Donovan, Max and Scarlet. All four of them soon realize things are rather different in the 16th century and they find themselves in great danger ...
In short, I'd describe this book as "a fast-paced time-travelling adventure with a dash of history and magic"! I'm usually not a big fan of fantasy books and such, but in this case I think the magical elements just added that extra touch to the story and surprisingly didn't bother me at all, and that's saying something; I guess everything just felt right in this book.
The plot was great and well structured. I loved the mystery surrounding the castle and the father's disappearance and once the children visited the 16th century, there was nothing but nonstop action as they were searching for the missing pieces of the ring while trying to survive in that time.
I really enjoyed both the present day and the historical settings, which were wonderfully brought to life by the lovely writing, which really enabled me to imagine everything easily and get sucked into the story.
I can't complain about the characters either as I warmed to all of them, both the children and the adults alike (especially both Linnets and Angus). I was really rooting for the children to break the curse and defeat Irata so Hannah's family could be reunited again, but I wasn't too sure if they'd succeed based on all the troubles they were faced with.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down so I'm sure children will enjoy it too. Not surprisingly, adults love it too, which you can see if you check out some other stops of this lovely book tour - The Bookette posted the whole schedule if you're interested! I'm scheduled for the 14th when I'll be posting an interview an interview with the author - and until then you can visit her lovely website and read more about The Puzzle Ring! Personally, I'd love to read more by her and I've already added The Gypsy Crown to my wishlist!
plot: 5/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 5/5