de Robert Beatty
"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . before all of the children vanish one by one.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I would like to start this review by saying that I got a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review,
Serafina and the Black Cloak was one of the most anticipated Disney titles from last year. it was everywhere in the Disney Books media and it promised adventure and mystery so it obviously got my attention. In May of this year I applied to read the book as it was hitting the shelves in the UK and I was lucky enough to get a copy. I read Serafina quite swiftly as it is a book that pulls you in quite easily and keeps you hooked to try and find out more.
Dear Serafina lives in the basement of a great mansion and has been told that she can never be seen. In itself this is quite curious because it makes you wonder what is so wrong with Serafina or with her being in the mansion that her existence has to be a secret. However as we get to know Serafina it starts to become obvious that there's something different about her, not only physical but also about the way she thinks and acts.
The book takes us through the house and we get a gist of the life in the manor (a bit Downton Abbey style, but funnily enough Biltmore actually exists and the author used the house because they grew up near it), specially the life of Braeden Vanderbilt, nephew of the Biltmore’s owners as he is more or less Serafina's age and she finds that interesting as he is the one with more potential to be her friend.
The mystery of the cloak keeps the readers interested and it was a very bold move of the author to make sure it made an appearance on the first few pages. The reader is pulled into the action as soon as the story starts and then we taken through the house and it's inhabitants from Serafina's point of view as she has to unravel who is the owner of the cloak.
I have to admit that it was easy to me to find that part out but I do realize the book is for younger readers who might not be so quick to guess. However I was taken by surprise about Serafina's backstory which ends up opening way for book 2 in the series, Serafina and the twisted staff.
All in all a fund adventure and an interesting world that I am curious to go back to.
Cat / Ki
Known bookaholic and writer at weekends. Cat loves books and everything that's related to them. From time to time she has very strong feelings and opinions about books and the world and she likes writes about them (mostly in her blog Encruzilhadas Literárias). She also has a personal GoodReads account and she believes the world is a better place for it (AKA no more repeated books from relatives as gifts). She lives in the UK and can often be found either in Waterstones or the Charity Shops.