A Quest, A Question and Answer session, and a contest!

July 26, 2008 at 5:03 am (Book Review, Contest) (, , , , , , )

I recently wrote to Kamilla Reid, author of The Questory of Root Karbunkulus, about reviewing her book, she responded quickly, and here is my review of her amazing new book:

Root Karbunkulus: An orphan taken in by unscrupulous aunts that decide to raise her as a way of gaining cheap labor. She doesn’t quite fit in with her town or her family, and feels like something important is missing in her life. It all changes with the ringing of a phone…

The Questory of Root Karbunkulus is a delight for all ages. It is an excellent work of youth fantasy. It reminds me of a type of Cinderella story if Cinderella had been written by someone who felt women should be strong and make their own way in the world.

Read along and embark on Root’s adventure as she explores a newfound home, DréAmm, and follow the first of at least 6 quests. Cheer her on when she is triumphant and be caught up with indignation when things don’t go well for her. She is a likeable character that anyone can identify with – unless you were lucky enough to never feel awkward and out of place as a teenager.

An epic quest for a prize with competing groups narrowing until only 2 teams remain…

As the story unfolds lessons are learned, legends are overturned, and new ones are made as these young heroes quest for the hidden treasures of DréAmm. The world is fun of fanciful, whimsical delights; there is a smile at every turn. You find yourself “rooting” for Root as she tries to acclimate to a new environment and finally find something much more valuable than the treasure they are hunting: friends, mentors and a place to belong.

This book would be excellent for use in the classroom, but I would caution that it should be read by advanced readers with good reading comprehension, unless there is an adult available to help the students puzzle out the meaning of the words. The prose is utterly charming, but some of the phrasing at the beginning had me needing to reread the occasional paragraph for clarity. Not much is explained in advance, this is no omniscient narrator, you learn things as Root learns them herself, giving you a good idea as to her excitement, curiosity and confusion. This book would make an excellent read out loud book to engage students in reading and figuring out the meanings of new words.

I give this book Two Thumbs up, and have been recommending it to all of my friends!

I am only left with one question: “When will the next one be published?!”

Check out the author’s award winning trailer at her website:


And now for my most excellent news:


The author, Kamilla Reid, will be visiting my blog on July 31st! Post your questions for her here, and on the 31st she will be visiting to answer them!


Kamilla has also generously donated some great items, such as an extra copy of her book to be given away here on the blog!


o Post a question for her in order to enter. Be sure to include your email addy

o Linking to this blog entry (and then posting a comment with your entry linking to my blog) will earn you two extra entries if posted by July 30th, and one extra entry after that.

o The person that posts the most insightful (in my opinion) question will also receive an extra entry for this contest.

o I will notify the winner by email on August 4th!



  1. Lenore said,

    My question: Did your parents ever make you do chores? How old were you and what did you have to do? Did you feel like it was unfair? Were you paid an allowance for your hard work?

    I had to clean the bathrooms starting at age 10. I hated it even though I got $3 a week. I am sure I did not do a particularly good job and my mother probably had more work making me do it than if she had done it by herself, but at the time, I accused her of only having me so that she’d have cheap labor. HA!

    This sounds like a really cool book!

  2. bunnyb said,

    I love it that this book reminded you of Cinderella! I love Cinderella.
    My question for Kamilla is, what was your fave fairy tale and who was your fave princess?
    This book sounds like so much fun! I do hope I win!! Thank you! bunnybx at gmail . com

  3. bunnyb said,

    I’ve also blogged here for extra credits 🙂
    Thank you!!
    bunnybx at gmail . com

  4. Lenore said,


    I posted a link at:


    and my e-mail address is lenoreva AT hotmail DOT com

  5. AllisonMarieCat said,

    Oh, how interesting! This book sounds like a fun read. I would love to ask Ms. Reid:
    What books were your favorites as a child? From your book’s description, I would guess you loved The Westing Game and other puzzle-related books (which I adored).

    I blogged about it here: http://hollybooknotes.blogspot.com/2008/07/another-book-giveaway.html and my email is allison DOT campbell AT gmail DOT com

    Thank you!

  6. Ruth said,

    Young adult books had a significant role in shaping the reader, and subsequently, the person that I am today. Where there any young adult books that had a significant impact on you as a teenager? What drove you to write for the young adult audience?

  7. Ruth said,

    I blogged about your contest here:


    My e-mail is BookishRuth at gmail dot com

  8. Mariah said,

    Here is my question: What made you want to start writing?

    My e-mail address is penguinqueen@hotmail.com

  9. Kamilla Reid said,

    Hi Lenore!

    Ah yes!The dreaded chores! It felt like we were always doing chores…and huge ones, at that…like the whole downstairs or Gasp!-the entire yard! But, in retrospect, especially having a daughter of my own now, I think it was because we dragged our chores out. We spent so much time whining and moaning and then stopping for ‘breaks’ that it felt like days had gone by and we were still ‘cleaning up’! I swear there was more time spent in the drama of the outrage than the actually chore. My mum would say “You’d’ve been done by now if you didn’t waste so much time crying about it!”. And the funny things, more than once I’ve said that to my daughter 🙂

    I always hated doing any chores but by far the worst was picking up the dog poo! Nasty!!!

    We got allowance here and there, when my mum had extra money but nothing routine. I give my daughter an allowance now and I’ve also discovered The House Fairy. Seriously, there’s a website, I think it’s housefairy.org that helps you set up this fun room cleaning incentive for your children. Basically, when the room’s cleaned the House Fairy (insert parent here) leaves some fairy dust and a small treat. When it’s not, she just leaves fairy dust. When the child sees this, she usually sets to cleaning her room again. I signed up and it’s been hit and miss with the room cleaning. But always fun!

    Thanks for writing, Lenore!


  10. Kamilla Reid said,

    Hey Bunnyb!

    Hmmmm….my fave fairy tale. Yknow, now that I think of it, I didn’t really have a fave fairy tale, at least in the traditional sense. I mean, I did really enjoy Cinderellla and Sleeping Beauty et al but the magical stories I truly loved were “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Hobbit”. Those were my all time faves! Then, when videos came out, I remember just adoring “The Rescuers”.

    Now, however, I’d have to say my fave princess is The Paper Bag Princess (by Rober Munsch). Now, she’s got spunk!! And she’s clever, too!

    Thanks for your question, BunnyB!


  11. Kamilla Reid said,

    Hi Allison!

    I guess I answered your question in BunnyB’s reply 🙂 Definitely “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The Hobbit”. But there was also a book I read that moved me to tears. It was just an incredible book that I could not put down, which was odd for me because I was a ridiculously active kid. It was called “Island of the Blue Dolphins”. Wonderful book!

    It’s funny you ask about the puzzles as right now I’m reading “The Mysterious Benedict Society”, which is loaded with mind games and puzzles. Great book, by the way! I don’t remember reading books like that as a child. But that’s not saying much as I didn’t read as much as people would think. I got into it later in life and now I’m doing catch up 🙂 I’ve not heard of “The Westing Game” but it sounds like fun. I’ll definitely check it out!

    Thanks for your question, Allision!


  12. Kamilla Reid said,

    Hey Ruth!

    As a teenager, I didn’t read very many books.I was starting to focus more on live theatre and spent a lot of time reading plays. I loved (and still love) musicals and would have to say “Les Miserable” had a powerful impact on me!

    A lot of people ask me why I chose to write teen fiction but I don’t think it happens that way. I think the idea just comes to you, usually with the main character or characters fully formed and you just run with it. For me, I think it was a natural arrival as my teen years were so full of drama. There was that extreme clash of hope and doubt that I think wanted to be expressed. And “The Questory” unconsciously became the vehicle for that.

    Great question, Ruth! Thank you!


  13. Kamilla Reid said,

    Hi Mariah!

    I remember I was eight years old and my teacher gave us an assignment to write a story. I cringed at first because it meant serious interference with my play time, in particular with Terry M, my latest crush (despite the fact that he liked Jamie but alas, another story).

    Anyhow, thinking I could just get it over with, quick and easy like, I got to work on my story that very first day after school. But something happened. Something clicked. Suddenly, playtime didn’t matter. Nor did supper or gasp! -Terry M! All I wanted to do was continue with this wonderful feeling of creating. I wrote and wrote and wrote. And then I asked my teacher if I could also draw the pictures.

    When my ‘masterpiece’ was completed I got an A+! After that I was hooked. And still am!

    Thanks for writing, Mariah!


  14. Shana said,

    My question for Kamilla: How did you choose the cover – it’s gorgeous!

    Thanks for the giveaway. I blogged about it here:


    literarily AT gmail DOT com

  15. Timothy Sternberg said,

    My question: Did your parents ever make you do chores?

  16. AllisonMarieCat said,

    Hey, thank you for the bookmark! I really enjoyed the question-and-answer, and I’m sure I’ll buy this book as soon as my TBR pile comes down from the ceiling a bit….

  17. alice said,

    Wooo, you are so patient that you have already answered the questions of readers,,,,the story that you told is very interesting..

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