Title: The Clockwork Crow
Author: Catherine Fisher
Genre: Middle-Grade Victorian Fantasy
Publication date: 4th October 2018
Publisher: Firefly Press
“When Seren Rhys is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger late at night in an empty train station, she has no idea what trouble it contains. She is on her way to a new life at the remote house of Plas-y-Fran, but when she gets there the happy family Christmas she had hoped for turned out to be an illusion.
Armed with a talking bird who might not be telling the truth, a magical snow globe, and her own indomitable courage, Seren sets off on a journey to solve the riddle of Plas-y-Fran, which takes her into a midnight world of snow and stars, to an ice palace unlocked only by a Door of Blood and Tears.”
— Taken from The Clockwork Crow
As soon as I saw The Clockwork Crow I knew I had to get a copy. It’s everything I love – a Middle-Grade book set in Victorian times, full of fantasy and magic, and as a bonus, based in Wales. Once I had possession of the book I had to exercise some restraint not to start reading it immediately as I had other books that needed reading and reviewing first!
It was totally worth the wait. The Clockwork Crow is the story of one girl’s determination to discover the mystery of Plas-y-Fran along with her newly acquired friend the Crow (although I am not sure he’d describe himself as a friend).
There is something entirely magical about this book. Each chapter starts with the name of the chapter and a rhyme which sets up the narrative to follow.
“Chapter 1 – Seren Rhys is Freezing
A clock ticks, frost is white.
Stars travel through the night.”
These introductions conjure up a sensation of something otherworldly, like there is something else beyond what we think we know (I do not mean that in a godly sense), which becomes apparent later in the book.
Considering it is quite a short book (from an adult’s perspective) it weaves in many different characters, each with their own part to play in the mystery. They’re also quite detailed and you get to know them intimately.
I relished the fact that it is quite spooky but keeps a fast pace and a wonderful sense of adventure. I occasionally had to stop myself from reading ahead to find out what happened as the author builds up such a sense of foreboding (which I found really enjoyable!).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get lost in a world of magic, mystery, and adventure. Go to Plas-y-Fran. I promise you will not be disappointed.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Yes, I am awarding this six stars (unprecedented, I know!).
Thanks to Firefly Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Firefly Press has a place in my heart. They are an independent publisher in Wales and are passionate about encouraging children to embrace reading and books.
If you are interested in reading this book please consider ordering directly from Firefly. I know this is not possible for everyone but if you can this would go a long way to help support an indie publisher.
About the author
Catherine Fisher is a Welsh author and poet. You can find out more about her work here.