Emily and the Spellstone Review (Funny Fantasy Kidlit)

Title: Emily and the Spellstone | Author: Michael Rubens | Publisher: Clarion Books | Pub. Date: 2017-6-13 | Pages: 288 | ISBN13: 9780544790865 | Genre: Children’s Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley for review consideration

Emily and the Spellstone

Emily picks up a stone that looks like a cell phone but has unexpected magical powers. It’s a Spellstone! Now that she has become an unwilling Stonemaster—one who wields the power of the Stone—she has to figure out Spellstone technology fast if she is to survive a hair-raising adventure among giant dogs, demons, clones, mean girls, and deeply wicked people who want the Stone. A witty tale of a quiet girl who discovers she’s a hero when she needs to be. Stonemasters rule!

Book cover for Emily and the Spellstone

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Emily and the Spellstone Review


I loved Emily and the Spellstone. I can’t help it. It had this perfect mix of fun, puns, adventure and excitement. Only pages in, it made me grin. And from there on out I was completely hooked by the story.

Emily and the Spellstone is meant to be a comedic take on the typical middle-grade fantasy adventure, and it accomplishes that perfectly. Even when you were laughing at some of the ridiculousness the author was spewing, you were still interested in the adventure itself.

Emily is not a spunky young heroine looking for adventure. Her two favorite things are hibernating with a book and collecting rocks. Adventure is not her thing. But, when needs must, she’ll rise to the occasion. Her sidekick? This isn’t a Golden Trio thing, or anything close to that. Emily doesn’t want her chosen companion for the adventure she has no desire to have. Especially when he’s openly admitted to the fact that he’s going to eat her as soon as he is free. 

This is not one of those books where fast friendships form immediately or people set off to potential doom with unbridled enthusiasm. It is one, however, where little schoolyard bullies get their comeuppance, Librarians are respected, and bookworms have power. Emily and the Spellstone is a great blend of completely fantastical and strangely realistic.

Emily and the Spellstone does get off to a little bit of a slow start, but that start sets the scene well for understanding where Emily is coming from. Even though events are obviously exaggerated a bit for the drama, you still feel for Emily. Being a tween can suck. Being a tween in a new school? That sucks even more. Then finding out that there’s an adventure you don’t want to go on waiting for you? Oh, bother.

This was a great book, and the author drags out some ridiculous puns that will have readers cackling. Emily and the Spellstone has material in it that even adults (who don’t consistently channel their inner child) can enjoy if they’re reading it together with their kids.

Emily and the Spellstone is a fantastic funny read that definitely belongs on your child’s shelves.