Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

When beginning The Clockwork Crow, the reader will undoubtedly recognize parallels to The Secret Garden (orphan girl, formerly from India, escorted to large, cold house full of mystery, etc.).  I was grateful, however, that the author threw in a curveball in the very first chapter as Seren becomes entrusted with a mysterious package by a stranger before boarding a train. The way that single action redefines her life is part of the magic and mystery of the rest of the book.

On her way to Wales, just prior to Christmas, Seren builds castlles in her mind about her loving guardians and their son--who she can't wait to meet!  Anything would be better than the orphanage with the mean girls, cold conditions, and lousy food--at least that's what Seren thinks.  Her new reality is much bleaker than she had imagined. From the moment she arrives, Seren senses a coldness about the house. Her guardians are not even in residence when she arrives. Escorted by the austere housekeeper, to her room by one solitary candle (and then left in the dark for the night), definitely sets an ominous tone to the book.

In spite of the less than friendly welcome, Seren is fascinated by her new home and desperate to explore (even those areas that she has been strictly forbidden to go).  Our of sheer boredom, she opens the parcel she received from the stranger and decides to assemble the curious contents (also against the expressly stated note that says NOT to do so).  

The son of her guardians, Tomos is of particular interest to Seren. But all of her questions about him are left unanswered and she is not even allowed to play with his toys. Seren's curiosity gets the better of her and when she sees the housekeeper bringing a food try upstairs, she is convinced that Tomas must be a prisoner in the house.

Readers will thrill at the mystery and suspense of the story. The Clockwork Crow plays an important part in the story and serves as mentor and guide to Serena on her quest to solve the mystery of Tomos's disappearance. I highly recommend this myster and suggest it be read aloud as a family.  I can't wait for the sequel!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of The Clockwork Crow from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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