Magic is nothing unusual to Valentine Marsh. But when she and her friends join hands to make a wish on New Year's Eve, even Val marvels at the ring of energy and light they mysteriously create. Since her magical grandmother is lying near death in a hospital, Val can only assume that this power of the Comet Committee, as they come to call themselves, is her own. When Val is assigned to host foreign exchange student Bosanka Lonat at school, the Comet Committee's purpose becomes clear to her. Bosanka has come to America in search of her estranged relatives, and she believes that the Committee has the power to reunite them. Disturbing things begin to happen, and Val suspects that she's dealing, not with a typical European teenager, but with someone who is capable of great evil. Together with Joel, Barb, and Lennie, Val tests her courage and magical powers to fight against the terrifying tragedy that faces them all. The Valentine Marsh Series: THE BRONZE KING, THE SILVER GLOVE, THE GOLDEN THREADFrom Publishers WeeklyIn this third exciting book of the Sorcery Hall series ( The Bronze King ; The Silver Glove ), apprentice wizard Valentine Marsh's newest adventures in magic begin when her musician friend Joel, who is studying violin in Boston, calls on her. For some reason his hands cramp up when he plays, and he needs Val's help to understand why. But she is distracted by other concerns--her grandmother is dying of a stroke. Magical events at a New Year's Eve party seem to lead to the arrival of Bosanka, a sinister girl who says she is a foreign exchange student. She insists that Val and her friends can help her search for her "people." The problem is getting everyone together to create more magic--the unlikely group of conjurers includes skeptics and wise guys. Bosanka's true identity will be a wonderful surprise for readers; her reunion with her people is poetically depicted and touching. Ages 10-up. Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Library JournalGrade 7-9-- With her beloved sorceress grandmother in a coma and hospitalized, 14-year-old Valentine Marsh attends a subdued New Year's gathering on the roof of a New York apartment building. When Val and her friends join hands in an experiment to magically create a star, they seem to fly into the sky until they are struck by a powerful bolt of heat. None of this is too disconcerting to Val; in previous adventures, she and her grandmother have destroyed a monster and an evil witch. Upon returning to school, Val is assigned to assist a strange foreign exchange student, Bosanka, who reveals that she is a powerful, magical ruler of another world and is looking for her people. Then she demands that Val and her friends use their power to find her misplaced subjects. Val fears Bosanka's people may subdue and misuse humankind, yet she dreads to refuse the royal commands. Charnas shows the adventures of a typical high-school girl who just happens to have inherited some degree of white magic talent. In so doing, she touches on a host of contemporary issues, the most important of which is her ecological message that we are one people and must use technology to preserve the earth rather than destroy it. If all this seems a "stretch," it isn't. Charnas neatly ties seemingly disparate pieces together into an exciting, absorbing, contemporary romp.- Cindy Darling Codell, Belmont Junior High School, Winchester, KYCopyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.