Helm Publishing (2010)
Reviewed by Sydney Clark (age 13) for Reader Views (5/11)
“The Source,” by Diana Bastine, is the story of Caitlin, an Irish teenager interested in folklore, who, while on a hike, discovers a strange man named Fortescue in a cave in the Irish countryside. As she finds out more about who he is and where he comes from, Caitlin gets thrown into an adventure that carries her to a strange, subterranean world she never dreamed existed. Suddenly, Caitlin finds herself critical to the survival of Fortescue’s people.
As they get to know each other better, Fortescue begins telling Caitlin about the reason he came to the surface -- to find an ancient amulet that is said to restore nutrients to the drink that sustains all of Fortescue’s people ... the Source. For decades, the Source has been becoming less and less nutritious, and Fortescue must find a way to restore its vitality or see his people die. But when another of Fortescue’s kind, Mortimer, comes to the surface, Caitlin worries that he is not to be trusted. Will Mortimer turn out to be trustworthy? Or will he try and thwart Caitlin’s and Fortescue’s plan, and gain power for himself?
When Mortimer betrays them and runs away to Dublin, Caitlin, Fortescue, and Caitlin’s father must try and stop him. But when they finally discover an injured Mortimer, they are at their wit’s end. After realizing that Mortimer doesn’t have the amulet, they begin a massive search all over Dublin. The fate of Fortescue’s people is threatened by a chance encounter with muggers, and then with a common merchant. Will they recover the amulet and save Fortescue’s people? Will the people survive?
I enjoyed reading “The Source” because it was an interesting take on the classic myths and legends of vampires and the famous story “The Pied Piper.” Caitlin is a smart teenager interested in old folklore and is willing to fully commit herself to helping her friends and family when they are in need. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes folklore and adventure. “The Source” was an enthralling book and someone from practically any age group would enjoy it.