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I'd encourage readers to start with the Clockwork Crow, the first in this trilogy, as the story does launch straight in and it is difficult at first to establish who is who. However, once sorted, the reader is quickly able to empathise with Seren, Tomas and the Crow. It is a very visual book, imaginative and with a touch of humour. The images are very strong and play on all the senses, whether it is the visual description of the box, or the atmosphere of the fair. There is a touch of Harry Potter in some of the chapters, the dark street leading off the fair has a touch of Diagon alley and certain other magical touches thread their way through the story. I think this link will certainly appeal to the many lovers of J K Rowling. The story flows so beautifully. The little poetic lines at the start of each chapter and the smattering of stars adding to the atmosphere and air of mystery. There are some solid messages running through the book, loyalty, overcoming adversity, friendship and hope. Good overcomes evil, is a popular theme, but what was particularly memorable was the fact that even the baddies had a heart. The black swan, for example, once happy and content in herself, became softer and kinder. These are all good themes to discuss with children or messages to remember from reading the book. A beautifully told tale and a trilogy of books that should definitely be on every bookshelf.
December 2019 Book of the Month | It’s autumn and the happiness and warmth of manor house Plas-y-Fran, now home to orphan Seren, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of the sinister Tylwyth Teg, or Fair Family. First, it’s Mrs Honeybourne in her red, velvet gloves, claiming to be a governess for Seren and her friend Tomos, but even stranger and much more frightening figures follow. Can Seren stand up to the Fair and save Tomos and her adopted family? A story of danger, courage and strength, Seren’s adventures will send delicious shivers down the spine. Catherine Fisher is a superb storyteller, breathing new life into old stories and setting them free like the wind whirling autumn leaves. This is the second story about Seren and also stars her magical clockwork companion Crow but stands on its own. Highly recommended especially for winter nights. If you like this, you’ll like Amy Wilson, Sophie Anderson and queen of magical stories, Diana Wynne Jones.
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