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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Legend of the Storm Sneezer is an enigmatic and highly enjoyable work of fantasy fiction for children penned by author Kristiana Sfirlea. The opening part of The Stormwatch Diaries book series, this charming tale for middle grade and young adult readers focuses on Rose Skyler, our thirteen-year-old protagonist. Rose sneezed a storm cloud when she was born, but as she gets older this magical cloud becomes less and less stable, resulting in Rose’s residence at Heartstone Asylum. The facility lies at the heart of a haunted forest, but its ghosts are beginning to wander. So begins a paranormal adventure with time travel, spirits, magic, and mayhem aplenty.
This might be one of the best fantasy books for MG readers and younger teens that I’ve ever encountered. Author Kristiana Sfirlea captivates with a concept that is initially simple but expands with complex beauty and metaphysical elements that adult readers will enjoy just as much as the intended audience. Rose is well developed as a precocious but fallible heroine, and I especially loved her figment friend Marek, who was as fascinating in character concept as in the presentation of dialogue and description. The work is lavish and beautifully imagined with cinematic use of descriptive lexis, as well as a solid and exciting plotline that brings core concepts together without confusion or contradiction. Overall, Legend of the Storm Sneezer is both utterly charming and highly accomplished in its formation: a rare find indeed, and one to be treasured.