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Curse of the Shamra: Crystal Cave Stories

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When I finish a novel I hate to let go of the characters I've created; characters who have come to life for me and I've made part of my life throughout my writing the book. I play with story ideas in my mind that deal with characters in the book long after I've finished writing. With Curse of the Shamra I never left the characters from the novel. I have written the other t When I finish a novel I hate to let go of the characters I've created; characters who have come to life for me and I've made part of my life throughout my writing the book. I play with story ideas in my mind that deal with characters in the book long after I've finished writing. With Curse of the Shamra I never left the characters from the novel. I have written the other two books of the series, so my characters were never very far from me. Once I finished the third book of the trilogy, however, I still had ideas popping into my mind and characters demanding I tell their story. I've gone into classrooms where I donated copies of Curse of the Shamra and listened (really listened) to what the students had to say. And, that's why I decided to write three new stories dealing with Curse of the Shamra. I was intrigued with the Crystal Cave I had created and without knowing it would occur three of the four stories in this collection find Dara at the Crystal Cave. In Dream of Truth and Deception Dara is stung by a venomous bug and in dreams is visited by her mother and lifelong friend, Pilla. The story foreshadows events in the second and third book. When I visited classrooms I found that Pilla was a favorite among students (in a virtual tie with Tyler, Dara's Bauble). In this deleted chapter from Curse of the Shamra we get to meet Pilla again. And, in The Eye of the Beholder the last of the Crystal Cave stories, Dara confronts a new dangerous enemy who doesn't want to see Dara succeed. As a bonus there is Glimmer which can also be found on my website (www.ShamraChronicles.com) as a free download. Front and center in this story is Tyler, Dara's Bauble. Tyler's wisdom, in this story, saves Dara's life.


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When I finish a novel I hate to let go of the characters I've created; characters who have come to life for me and I've made part of my life throughout my writing the book. I play with story ideas in my mind that deal with characters in the book long after I've finished writing. With Curse of the Shamra I never left the characters from the novel. I have written the other t When I finish a novel I hate to let go of the characters I've created; characters who have come to life for me and I've made part of my life throughout my writing the book. I play with story ideas in my mind that deal with characters in the book long after I've finished writing. With Curse of the Shamra I never left the characters from the novel. I have written the other two books of the series, so my characters were never very far from me. Once I finished the third book of the trilogy, however, I still had ideas popping into my mind and characters demanding I tell their story. I've gone into classrooms where I donated copies of Curse of the Shamra and listened (really listened) to what the students had to say. And, that's why I decided to write three new stories dealing with Curse of the Shamra. I was intrigued with the Crystal Cave I had created and without knowing it would occur three of the four stories in this collection find Dara at the Crystal Cave. In Dream of Truth and Deception Dara is stung by a venomous bug and in dreams is visited by her mother and lifelong friend, Pilla. The story foreshadows events in the second and third book. When I visited classrooms I found that Pilla was a favorite among students (in a virtual tie with Tyler, Dara's Bauble). In this deleted chapter from Curse of the Shamra we get to meet Pilla again. And, in The Eye of the Beholder the last of the Crystal Cave stories, Dara confronts a new dangerous enemy who doesn't want to see Dara succeed. As a bonus there is Glimmer which can also be found on my website (www.ShamraChronicles.com) as a free download. Front and center in this story is Tyler, Dara's Bauble. Tyler's wisdom, in this story, saves Dara's life.

30 review for Curse of the Shamra: Crystal Cave Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    Fabulously written and packed with action, this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read! The characters were intriguing with depth brought on by a well thought out past and society. The settings were amazing, with each forest/desert/lake being both beautiful and deadly in turn. Dara is an incredibly strong female lead in a male dominated society, made even more real by the doubts any true leader faces. She is able to inspire both the men and the women to change their thinking, which is never an eas Fabulously written and packed with action, this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read! The characters were intriguing with depth brought on by a well thought out past and society. The settings were amazing, with each forest/desert/lake being both beautiful and deadly in turn. Dara is an incredibly strong female lead in a male dominated society, made even more real by the doubts any true leader faces. She is able to inspire both the men and the women to change their thinking, which is never an easy feat. The Baubles themselves teach two important lessons: 1. Size doesn't matter; even the smallest can make a huge difference. 2. Just because you are not treated with the respect that you deserve does not mean you cannot help when you are needed. I would recommend this book to girls for the strong females that defy convention to make a change. I would recommend it to boys to teach them never to underestimate others, regardless of gender. I would recommend it to reluctant readers because the story is fast paced, creative, and fun to follow. I would honestly recommend it to anyone who wants an amazing adventure. Mr. Hoffman sent the three books in this series to our book club and all the kids are loving it. What an amazing gift!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Stiles

    Hoffman has created a fascinating world in this book. The society he has created has women subservient to men. Dara, an orphan is unlike the other Shamra in many ways. First, the society of people has blue eyes, and she has brown. Secondly, she completely disagrees that women should marry and do the bidding of their husbands. She believes in equality for all. Third, she has visions. This all comes in handy when they are invaded by the Trocs. Dara and a few others escape. They appoint her the lea Hoffman has created a fascinating world in this book. The society he has created has women subservient to men. Dara, an orphan is unlike the other Shamra in many ways. First, the society of people has blue eyes, and she has brown. Secondly, she completely disagrees that women should marry and do the bidding of their husbands. She believes in equality for all. Third, she has visions. This all comes in handy when they are invaded by the Trocs. Dara and a few others escape. They appoint her the leader of the rebellion. To help her people she must journey to unfamiliar lands to find help. The story has many things going for it. It teaches girls today that they can do anything that boys can do. It also teaches what happens when a society is so wrapped up in itself that it ignores warning signs of conflict. I believe my students; both female and male will enjoy this addition to my library at school. I look forward to reading the second and third book in the series, “Shamra Divided”, and “Chaos Unleashed”. This is another great fantasy book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

    Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG It was supposed to be the best day of Pilla's life and as close as it would ever get to Dara's. The beautiful day was ruined when they were invaded and taken over by the Trocs. Dara escaped into the swamp with some others, but she's the only female among them. She's also the only one with wits enough to lead. Though Dara is strong and courageous, she won't be accepted easily and winning their land back will be even more difficult. In war, there has t Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - PG It was supposed to be the best day of Pilla's life and as close as it would ever get to Dara's. The beautiful day was ruined when they were invaded and taken over by the Trocs. Dara escaped into the swamp with some others, but she's the only female among them. She's also the only one with wits enough to lead. Though Dara is strong and courageous, she won't be accepted easily and winning their land back will be even more difficult. In war, there has to be casualties, but I resent this fact of book writing. Some Shamra died, but I loved being with Dara as she helped others survive. Dara is an extraordinary, if somewhat impatient, leader that I found myself looking up to her with as much respect as the Shamra she rallied. I am very exciting to continue with Dara on her new adventure in the sequel. Reviewed for https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Reading Vacation

    Dara was a strong-willed and spirited girl who did not bend to the status quo. I liked that she did not back down on her beliefs and that she was brave in the face of evil. Dara was not like the typical Shamra girls who were timid and afraid to speak up. In the first book, I was a little overwhelmed by the violence and sadness brought on by the Trocs. Thankfully, the plot turned happier in the second book as Dara went on an adventure to find her heritage. I loved that she found her clan and that Dara was a strong-willed and spirited girl who did not bend to the status quo. I liked that she did not back down on her beliefs and that she was brave in the face of evil. Dara was not like the typical Shamra girls who were timid and afraid to speak up. In the first book, I was a little overwhelmed by the violence and sadness brought on by the Trocs. Thankfully, the plot turned happier in the second book as Dara went on an adventure to find her heritage. I loved that she found her clan and that Briana told her stories about her ancestors. That was my favorite part. Overall, these books touch on many emotions. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Shamra Chronicles series, Chaos Unleashed, coming out in 2011. Thank you to Barry Hoffman for sending these books to me for review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    *Flamingnet.com Top Choice Award Winner* (More detailed review available at www.flamingnet.com) Curse of the Shamra was an amazing book! I cannot even begin to explain how wonderful this book was! Dara and Pilla have always been best friends, but Pilla and the rest of the Shamra people suddenly become enslaved to the creatures known as Trocs. Dara has to lead a self-proclaimed "ragtag" group of people to attempt to free the Shamra from the Trocs. This was amazing!! I would highly recommend this one *Flamingnet.com Top Choice Award Winner* (More detailed review available at www.flamingnet.com) Curse of the Shamra was an amazing book! I cannot even begin to explain how wonderful this book was! Dara and Pilla have always been best friends, but Pilla and the rest of the Shamra people suddenly become enslaved to the creatures known as Trocs. Dara has to lead a self-proclaimed "ragtag" group of people to attempt to free the Shamra from the Trocs. This was amazing!! I would highly recommend this one! The only thing that makes me sad about this book is that I don't think the author will write the sequel this deserves, as the book was written 7 years ago and was only just picked up by a publisher last year. But I can hope! AMAZING BOOK!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie Joyce

    My pre-teen daughter has read the 3 Shamra Chronicle books. The Shamra series is a must read for upper middle school/YA girls who are intrigued, confused and/or disappointed by many of the stereotypes and roles that are often attributed to the female gender. The author's genuine concern for the self-esteem and self-valuation that young women assume, shines through. The entire series encourages aspiring young women to engage in stimulating analysis of the events and characters. The portrayal of c My pre-teen daughter has read the 3 Shamra Chronicle books. The Shamra series is a must read for upper middle school/YA girls who are intrigued, confused and/or disappointed by many of the stereotypes and roles that are often attributed to the female gender. The author's genuine concern for the self-esteem and self-valuation that young women assume, shines through. The entire series encourages aspiring young women to engage in stimulating analysis of the events and characters. The portrayal of contrasting passive and aggressive female characters prompted many amazing discussions with my daughter about gender roles.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ilsa

    I really enjoyed this book. The author portrays an entirely new world with wonderfull accuracy. I am glad he didn't add love triangles or stupid lovey dovey scenes. It was exciting and to the point all the way through and I loved it. I want to read the next, so I hope the series dosen't falter with anything predictable like 'oh no! my emotions are clashing!' I hate it when books write ten chapters on the character's conflicting emotions. This book is wonderfull, but i'm cautiously optimistic of I really enjoyed this book. The author portrays an entirely new world with wonderfull accuracy. I am glad he didn't add love triangles or stupid lovey dovey scenes. It was exciting and to the point all the way through and I loved it. I want to read the next, so I hope the series dosen't falter with anything predictable like 'oh no! my emotions are clashing!' I hate it when books write ten chapters on the character's conflicting emotions. This book is wonderfull, but i'm cautiously optimistic of the next two. If you have any advice on them, please comment.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grlpwr00

    I personnaly did not like the characters in this book. i think the whole idea of their species was kinda gross.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laith

    Very well written, a facinating story. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the series. Very well written, a facinating story. I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  11. 4 out of 5

    Corinna Schultz

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raye Anderson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rae Anderson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Stanek

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anita Book

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna (The Bursting Bookshelf)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clair

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tristenne

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jillian

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andres Granados

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

  24. 4 out of 5

    R.D.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rhovanmark

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hewan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Raye

  28. 4 out of 5

    Raye of the Dead

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

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