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Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite
Jake's Quest For The Five Stones: An Adventure Guide to Crystals by Hanit Benbassat is a marvelously written story that begins in the Elven village of Keeponia. War has erupted between the elves and the goblins of Nordia. The goblins' artisans are jealous because their customers won't come to their village, and so they purchase their wares at the market in Keeponia. Out of jealousy, they want to take the Elven village by force. Jake's father and brothers are chastising him for not joining in on the war effort. Jake's heart is set on trying to find a peaceful solution to end the war. Jake is approached by one of the village Elders who sends him on a quest to retrieve "a reserved secret power, super snowflake flower." The elder tells Jake that it has secret powers that can help him and his friends. He was told that many elves that had gone before him had failed to retrieve it, and never returned. Out of desperation, Jake begins his journey to the top of Nindero Mountain to retrieve the solution to ending the war.
Hanit Benbassat has created a masterpiece in the form of a children's tale, filled with a blend of mythical creatures, and expert story telling. She is able to capture the emotions involved in war, and with the usurpers wanting to take what isn't theirs for their own. Hanit's characters are very real and easy to identify with. Ms. Benbassat is able to weave the properties of certain crystals in a fantasy setting that is sure to reach children on all levels of discovery, such as how your emotions can affect your way of embracing your inner joys, and enlightenment. Jake's Quest For The Five Stones also has a cleverly inserted adventure guide to crystals, and their properties that help in healing and repairing one's self esteem. The author brings the philosophy of what Dale Carnegie introduced roughly a century ago. The illustrations by Petro really helped to capture the wonder of this adventure. When I was finished reading this moving tale, all I could say was, wow! Well done!