Publishers Weekly Review
Featuring a richly diverse cast, vividly imagined worldbuilding, and passionate storytelling, Durst¿s middle grade fantasy is a feast for the senses. Readers are immersed into the world of Mayka, who has lived on the mountain above the great city of Skye with her stone friends from the time her flesh-and-blood father carved her from stone. After his death, the stories and life force carved into the stone of Mayka¿s friends begins to fade. In search of a stonemason to recarve their marks, the lifelike girl pushes past her comfort zone and travels to Skye with two flying stone friends, opening herself up to the people and places beyond her mountain. On the journey she learns secrets of her father¿s past¿and new ways to care for her chosen family. A storyteller at heart, Mayka is introduced to an entirely new world, one filled with frightening experiences and unexpected joys. Those she encounters¿both flesh and stone¿challenge her views of reality, encouraging her to reassess her perspectives to become even more accepting. Mayka¿s strong independent streak is both celebrated and tempered by the satisfaction of working as part of a team. Durst presents engaging fantastical situations alongside ideas about how histories evolve and whose stories are told, in a gently thoughtful manner. Ages 10¿up. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger. (Apr.)
Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-This inventive middle grade novel balances humor and magic. Mayka is a stone girl carved by her stonemason human "father" who also etched her animal companions. His death years ago has left them alone with only their fading carved markings. The marks tell their stories and allow them to move and speak; but as the marks erode, the creatures stop moving. Mayka leaves her isolated mountain home to travel to the city of Skye to find a stonemason and bring him back to help. Mayka and her flying stone bird friends, Risa and Jacklo, are confused by the hostility humans show them. The humans consider themselves the creatures' keepers. In Skye, stonemason Master Siorn, who found an injured Jacklo after he'd flown away and disappeared, delightedly agrees to help the stone creatures. He has carved many strange creations-all of which bear the same strange mark that Mayka can't interpret. She's horrified to realize the mark means they have to obey Master Siorn and aren't allowed to be free. Mayka and her companions must come up with a plan to save themselves before the marks disappear and to stop Master Siorn from continuing to carve the obedience mark on other stone creatures. Mayka is a strong, believable heroine that readers will root for. -VERDICT This exciting adventure has moments reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, in which the protagonist must rely on herself and her friends to find inner courage and her way to safety. A solid purchase where magical fantasy circulates well.-Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Mayka's father, the stonemason, carved her and the creatures she lives with, but now that he is dead, their intricate carvings are fading, and with them, the power that keeps them alive. To save them, Mayka must go to the world below her mountain and look for a new stonemason to recarve the stories etched into their bodies. But the human world is a dangerous one, and Mayka must learn new skills to keep from falling into a dangerous trap. In this celebration of stories, art, and the love of family both birth and chosen readers will meet a host of characters who are very human, regardless of their actual physical makeup. Using the familiar rhythms of traditional tales and bolstered by Mayka's love of telling stories, this is a strong addition to middle-grade fantasy adventures, one which begs to be read aloud. With a deft balance between the thrilling journey and the artfully built world of magic, this is as beautiful and adventurous as the graceful stone birds accompanying Mayka on her journey.--Wildsmith, Snow Copyright 2018 Booklist