Tender words of wisdom given by her father, adventure, suspense, a dreary dark side with a curse and a twist make this a delightful story for young teens seeking their path along life.
Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting is set in the 16th century, giving a new twist on the old fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jaclyn, along with her mother and father have a quaint life in the country, until one day Jaclyn eavesdrops on a private meeting held by her father and other villagers in the dark of the night. As a backdrop, Jaclyn has been hearing haunted voices whom she thinks are demons trying to get to her soul. These nightmares become a large fear that she fights inwardly. Facing Black Mountain, monsters, with elements of mythical tales from the past, her worst fears are proven. But with determination and a profound love for family, she advances as a strong, almost princess warrior.
Jaclyn is the heroine in the story, somewhat different from most girls her age, and at the tender age of 16, she wanted to find love first before settling down into a housewife role, as expected by society. Jaclyn is independent, witty, fun and stubborn all at the same time. She knows what she wants and desires, and being more of a tomboy, prefers pants instead of dresses. Her passion for life burns ever brightly throughout the story, as readers find out that many a day was spent training on how to wield a sword with her father.
“Lead with love in your heart”, are some words to live by given by her father seemingly inspire, teaching that life is a journey wrought with trials, but good times do come like the sunshine. Knowing your heart, truth and love, all give this story a strong steeping in Christian values. With a strange take on the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ side and a telling of Mary Magdalene, Jaclyn finds out a long held secret in her family’s life. Still, love overcomes all evil in this wispy, fast-paced novel.
Mary Ting writes with an adventurous heart, a clever pen, introducing young readers to a classic that meets fantasy, shedding light on the family devotion and a love story that buds to completion by the end.
This short novel comes as a highly recommended read for parents and young adults that prefer fantasy fiction with a Christian-based theme and a creative perspective.
Mary Ting is one of those writers to notice and watch.
Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
By: Mary Ting
A CBM Christian Book Review
10 out of 10.0 stars