Maria is not a very popular girl. She has one friend, but he's a wonderful friend. Her mother and brother don't understand her, but they love her. Her grandmother, however, is Maria's kindred spirit. Grandma Esme has had an exciting life. She worked in a circus as a lion tamer, but she didn't really call it taming. She was merely friends with the lion, so he was happy to do as she requested. Grandma Esme is as surprising and mysterious as can be. One of the things that she is very firm about is that you never hurt a spider. Grandma Esme loves spiders. She loves them so much that she even wears a spider ring always. Maria doesn't hate spiders, but she's not overly fond of them. One day, Maria visits her grandma and the old woman is in a panic. She acts terrified and, most surprisingly to Maria, it seems to be that she's suddenly afraid of spiders. When her grandmother dies within a week of this incident, Maria is very worried that these weren't simply the rantings of old age. Then she finds out that her grandmother left her the mysterious spider ring. Maria discovers that power comes at a price and one should always think before wielding powers they don't understand. This was a really fast paced and interesting story. I enjoyed reading it and will definitely recommend it to children 4th grade and up.