FeaturedMiddle Grade Fantasy

A Place of Turquoise


Must read 🏆

When Robert's parents vanish, the boy and his 'dog' must untangle the mysteries and magic of a world of turquoise to save those they love.

Robert and his family are enjoying a typical stay at their lake house when strange things begin happening. A bush glistens turquoise for a moment. Turquoise bushes make an appearance at the bottom of the lake. His 'dog' turns out to be not such an ordinary 'dog', and both the dog and a random blackbird starts talking!

All of this might seem like a daydream to many, but when Robert's parents disappear without a trace, Robert has no choice but to believe the blackbird's claims that they've been swept away into an alternate reality, a place of turquoise.

With 'Fartie' (his faithful dog/companion) at his side, Robert leaves home to rescue his parents from a memory-draining castle and the dark forces living within it.

A Place of Turquoise struck me very much as a modern-day Alice in Wonderland. There may not have been a rabbit hole, but from the moment Robert and Fartie crawl through a dead tree into a new world (thanks to some magical turquoise webs), every twist and turn in this book merges whimsical and fantastical with real-life morals and values.

A motley crew of side-characters and creatures make an appearance throughout Robert's journey, but the faith and friendship he shares with Fartie is what truly makes this story special. This is so much more than a tale of a boy and his dog--it's a tale of brotherhood that surpasses differences, and the strength one can find by not shying away from things that others see as different or strange.

Salfeld has done an amazing job of making A Place of Turquoise a story that the whole family can enjoy. There are many great themes within it, such as not taking things at face value (for both good and cautious reasons), doing what's right even if it hurts, unconditional, self-sacrificial love, and believing in oneself and one's friends, among many others.

I am not typically fond of the 'stupid, helpless parent in need of rescuing' trope, but the parents' capture was never played out as 'stupid' in any way, and their rescue was realistic.

Some of the concepts in this story may be a bit confusing for younger readers (in the 6-8 year-old range), but those same concepts could make for great family discussions, too.

A Place of Turquoise is a magical, immersive adventure into a world I was reluctant to leave. I truly hope we see more from Robert and his world in the future!

Reviewed by

I am a USA Today Bestselling author and developmental editor with 10+ years of experience. I am a huge fan of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, J.R.R. Tolkien, Clare B. Dunkle, and Timothy Zahn. I also enjoy indie works by Nicole Wells, Andrei Saygo, and Luke Courtney.

Chapter 1

About the author

Karina writes wildly entertaining stories that inspire children to be brave, be different, believe in themselves, and never give up no matter the circumstances. When Karina is not writing, she creates abstract ink pen drawings and immerses herself in cinema. view profile

Published on February 17, 2023

40000 words

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Reviewed by