Review: The Grimm Legacy

Review: The Grimm LegacyThe Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Series: The Grimm Legacy #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on July 8, 2010
Genres: Adventure, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 325
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library - a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales; seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother's sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime or captured by the thief.

Polly Shulman has created a contemporary fantasy with a fascinating setting and premise, starring an ordinary girl whose after-school job is far from ordinary and leads to a world of excitement, romance and magical intrigue.

Brief Summary:
Elizabeth Rew does not have any friends in her high school; unlike most teens, she actually gets the most joy out of her school work. After writing an A+ paper on the Brothers Grimm for her history teacher, Mr. Mauskopf, he offers to set her up with a job. She agrees and finds herself working at a freakin’ sweet and unique library. Rather than lending books, this library (repository) lends materials, like chess sets, antique doublets, parasols and vases. In addition to that stuff in the main stacks, the ‘dungeon’ has all of the magical and science fiction-y items, straight out of fairy tales and novels. Elizabeth finds danger, excitement, friends and romance once she finally gets to open the door to the Grimm Collection in the dungeon.

The Grimm Legacy brimmed with magic. I love the premise; I so want to work at that library! The magical objects are hilarious to read about and Elizabeth is exceedingly likable. While many of the side characters lack depth, they were not totally static either. The focus of the book is more on Elizabeth’s feelings about herself and development as a person that it is on the dastardly plot of a villain to steal the priceless items from the Grimm Collection. The whole mystery plot line is a bit absurd, with the bad guys never seeming any real threat and not being particularly hard to discern either. That said, do not read this out of a love for mystery.

This is a book for book lovers; Shulman’s love of books and libraries exudes from every page. She compares Elizabeth to an ordinary fairy tale heroine throughout the story and makes some clever observations. It is always nice to find more teen books where the heroine does not have to be incredibly beautiful or a princess or an incredibly beautiful princess. Elizabeth is smart and, while certainly no troll, not particularly pretty. Her romance, too, follows a more believable pattern than I see in much teen literature.

This is a fun, fast-paced, magical read, well worth your time!

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