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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Song of Hadariah by Alisse Lee Goldenberg is the first book of The Dybbuk Scrolls trilogy. Carrie just wants a carefree summer with her friends, despite her parents' dismay, but everything changes when she rescues a fox from her dog. This isn't an ordinary fox, but the emissary to the King of Hadariah. He offers Carrie an opportunity to travel to the magical land to stop the evil Asmodeus and his demons, while retrieving the stolen strings of a violin that controls the world's spirit. If the music dies, the land and all its inhabitants will die with it. With the help of her two best friends, Lindsay and Rebecca, Carrie encounters demons, witches, poisonous fruit, and a shadow-less princess that's more than she appears. Music may run the spirit of the world, but the imagination is a key component in what forms this world.
Carrie and her friends have spent their lives dreaming of a magical world with talking animals and adventure. Now their wildest stories are coming to life before their eyes. Even the trees can talk. Alisse Lee Goldenberg has created a stunning world with a twist on fairy tales and a fun sprint through the imagination. The fairy tale elements are easy to spot, from golden eagles to poisonous fruit to giants. The giants are hinted upon as being the stereotypical wicked creatures from stories that bake people into bread, but these giants aren't evil like they're portrayed.
Carrie and her friends are thrown straight into an adventure, so they're a bit naive and a little out of their element, though they're also compassionate, loyal, and stronger together. Since they've been friends since childhood, they already have a sisterly bond with fun banter and bickering, while always working through their disagreements and building each other up. The humor is clever with nods to pop culture and technology. The Song of Hadariah is an adventure full of magic and heart, following the journey of three best friends that encounter a talking fox, talking trees with tainted fruit, a shadow-less princess, and demons.