Secret of Light

by Kc Dyer
ISBN: 1550024779

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A Review of: Secret of Light
by Heather Birrell

This sequel to kc dyer's first YA novel Seeds of Time, follows Darrell, her dog Delaney and her two friends Kate, the "computer techie" and Brodie, "the fossil geek" as they embark on yet another time travel adventure. The three adolescents are students at the Eagle Glen School, an "alternative" (read magical) school located on Canada's west coast, near Vancouver. In the first novel, Darrell was drawn through magical glyphs on a nearby cave's walls into Medieval Scotland. Secret of Light whisks the three friends off to Renaissance Florence, and into the company of the renowned Leonardo da Vinci.
The students access their portal through an old lighthouse slated for demolition, which adds an element of suspense to the tale. Also upping the tension factor is Conrad Kennedy, an obnoxious baddie who was to have been shipped off to reform school in Ontario. In addition, Darrell is still haunted by the accident that caused her father's death, and has left her with a prosthetic leg and a distinctive hip-hop to her step. On the plus side, Darrell and company enjoy classes with compelling if quirky teachers, and are assigned the task of helping to organize a school-wide Renaissance Fair. As a passionate artist herself, Darrell seems the perfect candidate for da Vinci's mentorship, but the reality of the artist's time teaches her a few hard lessons about a woman's place in 15th century Florence. No matter, the plucky heroine soon finds herself obsessed with more weighty matters; she becomes convinced da Vinci was in fact on the path to discovering the mysteries of time travel, and hopes by visiting him a second time to find the truth.
Readers will recognize essentials of the popular Harry Potter series here: the three pals hiding their escapades from unsuspecting fellow students, the twinkly eyed profs with kindly ulterior motives, the boorish foil in the form of another student, and the feisty protagonist with a tragedy in her past she longs to come to terms with. These are all winning elements, and although the story lags in places, Secret of Light mostly serves as a fun vehicle for learning about a far-off time period and foreign way of life.

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