The Castle of Tangled Magic
by Sophie Anderson
Rated: 5 stars *****
Sophie Anderson, author of The Girl Who Speaks Bear, has another enchanting tale – The Castle of Tangled Magic. It enchants with its richly depicted castle and magical land that provides excellent escapism.
Thanks to Usborne and Sophie Anderson for allowing me to write a review and for providing an e-copy of the book.
Follow further down to the blurb, review and links.
Magic awaits, all you have to do is believe…
When thirteen-year-old Olia, steps through a magical doorway, she discovers another land. A land tangled by magic, where hope is lost, and a scheming wizard holds all the power.
Soon Olia learns that she is destined to save this land, but with time running out and her new friends and family in danger, she must search for the magic within herself – to save everything and everyone she loves.
The Castle of Tangled Magic, the new fairy tale from Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Saara Söderlund.
An enchanting fairy-tale adventure about the power of love and courage, from the bestselling author of The House with Chicken Legs and The Girl who Speaks Bear.
Castle Mila, built from wood around 500 years ago near the shore of a lake, sounds like so many children’s dream of a castle with it’s majestic stature and hidden passageways and secrets. The writing is amazingly imaginative, in the way Sophie Anderson has captured the castle and takes readers on a tour around it, up each of the stairs to the different rooms and domes, along with Olia. There is so much to feast the eyes upon and to delight and bring a touch of magic to children’s imaginations. It’s all rather splendid. She is also wanting to find some magic, so seeks out an older member of the family – Babusya, who informs about the mysterious Sun Dome that could have magic, but is locked. The mysteriousness that builds is fascinating and enchanting.
There’s great charm and excitement that captures the heart. The ideas of olde of leaving salt as offerings for spirits, such as domovoi (a spirit, in this case a fox who protects) and of the changes of the wind are explored through Babusya. As other family members appear, there is a lovely family cosyiness element, which is heartwarming, as is the talk of ancestry.
There’s a storm, which seems to make looking for a key even more pressing, a gripping, treacherous adventure ensues and there is a lot at stake – the family and the castle to protect from the ferociousness of the weather.
The story continues onwards with Feliks, the domovoi, into a mystical, rather surreal land – The Land of Forbidden Magic, where there the descriptions add to the surrealism as Koshka, a gorgeous cat, is met and a conversation ensues about the witch Nania and Chenomor’s magic. Another unexpected quest occurs as the land and spirits need to be saved. With lots of danger and many different encounters and riddles to solve, it pulls readers further in deeper as the quest becomes increasingly treacherous and on top of that Castle Mila itself needs saving.
Sophie Anderson creates so much for readers to grasp onto and root for in this pacy adventure, that also has an almighty twist.
Throughout, there are lovely illustrations, depicting the story well. At the end there is also “Olia’s Glossary”, which children will benefit well from, to enhance their understanding of the story as there are some words, that may be unfamiliar.