Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
Castle Bloom has its mysteries. Octavia has always loved exploring the castle, and one day on one of her usual adventures, she, her sister, and her cousins discover a tiny door in the attic. Her grandmother is furious by the discovery, but soon the four girls learn of a secret that their family has guarded for centuries. But why does their grandmother not want them to know? What secrets lie behind the fairy door? And can the four Bloom children help fix the mistakes their family made years ago?
In a wonderfully written, intriguing middle-grade novel, we are wrapped in Octavia’s determination and curiosity, plunging headfirst into danger to do what is right. What a great character to start the series! Despite being the youngest, Octavia’s determination leads the pack. Sometimes, a young child is the one who can bring about change, even if it is by what they said. On top of that, Octavia loves her family. She beams with pride at her sister and cousins when they succeed. There is no jealousy, no anger, only happiness and support. So often we see children marked with jealousy, but Octavia shows us it is not necessary to be strong and a hero.
Despite Octavia being the key holder, what is most important is how every single child in the story has a purpose. In order for a secret fairy door to survive, every part of the team must work together. When one member is persuaded in the wrong direction, or another loses faith, the entire team can falter. This is an important lesson for children: work together, you’re all important.
The world was beautifully constructed, and easily we are transported through the fairy door. Yet, in such a complex world, my biggest hang up was the number of named characters in such a short middle grade novel. It wasn’t overly cumbersome, but there were a couple chapters where we were introduced one after the other to different characters. This didn’t take away from the overall plot though.
I think my biggest “criticism” is that I want more. I loved the story and the world so much, that I really wish I had a chance to get to know more about the characters and the world! Granted, being a middle grade novel, I also know that this is limited for one book.
I eagerly anticipate the next story in the series…and I’m sure you or your children will too!
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What’s it about?
One tiny discovery can have enormous consequences…
Almost 10-year-old Octavia Bloom is looking for adventure, but when it comes it’s in the shape of a tiny fairy door. Dragging her reluctant sister and cousins into the mystery, Octavia discovers her family are hiding not ONE but TWO life-changing secrets. Why is her mother searching for an elusive flower? And does she have what it takes to reunite her fractured family? Octavia’s certain the answers lie behind the fairy door, if only she could just find the key…Bravery, secrets & magic intertwine in this fantastical adventure.