Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Review: Fire Spell
Author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: September 13th, 2012
Genre: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
The year is 1860, and a young Clara Wintermute is looking forward to her twelfth birthday party, in which a puppeteer is coming to create a magical puppet show for Clara and her friends. While the puppet show will be enchanting, Clara is more excited to see the two children who help with the puppet show. They are unlike anyone Clara has ever met, and she actually feels like they genuinely like her, unlike her other friends. For Clara is a very lonely little girl, and it feels as if the ghosts of her deceased siblings are everywhere she goes. After the puppet show, Clara Wintermute goes missing. Parsefall and Lizzie Rose, the two orphans who worked as puppeteers, might be the only ones who can save Clara. Tied to Clara’s fate are two dangerous magicians, caught in an age-old battle for power. Amidst the grey world of Victorian London, three children will have to confront magic and ancient curses.
I bought this book at Foyles in London, mainly because Stacey from Pretty Books had heard it was good, and because it looked like the perfect book to buy in London, with Big Ben and St. Paul’s on the cover. I actually read this book in Paris and I quickly got wrapped up in it. I adore the cover art, and the novel as a whole captures and even lives up to the eerie and beautiful picture depicted. I loved the atmosphere presented in the novel, and how Victorian customs, especially pertaining to death, were dealt with in the novel. It was well-researched and interesting historical fiction. The story takes us into the minds of various different characters, from the rich to the poor, the good to the evil. All the characters were all well written and intriguing, and it was nice to see London of the mid 19th century from the perspective of characters from different social standings. Even as I spent my days in Paris I found my mind being drawn back to this book, which I was reading at night. It was well written with a fast moving and unique plot. In the middle I was feeling a little let down, wishing there had been more explanation as to why Grissini did what he did to Clara. In the end, I was very happy with the ending and how the novel took you there. Full of spells, puppetry and impossibilities, Fire Spell was enjoyable read for lovers of fantasy.