Kim has really enjoyed the Serafina series by Robert Beatty and just finished the fourth in the series! Here is listing of the series:
- Serafina and the Black Cloak
- Serafina and the Twisted Staff
- Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Kim’s review is here).
- Serafina and the Seven Stars
Author: Robert Beatty
Published: July 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
Serafina and Braeden make an epic return in the hotly anticipated fourth installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina series. Serafina, the Guardian of Biltmore Estate, has won battle after battle against the dark forces encroaching on her home. Now, tranquility has returned to Biltmore. Serafina doesn’t trust it. She patrols the grounds night and day, hardly sleeping, uncertain of her place after her best friend Braeden Vanderbilt’s departure for boarding school in New York.
When Mr. Vanderbilt, the kind master of Biltmore, asks Serafina to move upstairs into one of the house’s grandest rooms, she’s sure it’s to keep an eye on the guests who have arrived for the estate’s annual hunt.
But as Serafina investigates, she becomes more and more unsettled by what Biltmore has become-a place haunted by nameless terrors where no dark corridor is safe. Even worse, she begins to doubt her own senses. Is Braeden really hundreds of miles away, or did he return to Biltmore for one strange night before vanishing? Is the bond between them truly broken or is it stronger than ever?
Then Serafina witnesses a crime that turns her world upside down. How can all that once seemed good and worthy of protection now be evil? And how can she guard those around her when she can’t even be sure of the truth of her own heart?
Serafina and the Seven Stars marks the return of a heroine like no other, as master storyteller Robert Beatty weaves his darkest, most astonishing tale yet.
Serafina is growing up and she’s doing it fast! I decided to re-read the other three books before Seven Stars came out and I once again was caught up in the world of the Vanderbilts at Biltmore in Asheville. I was reminded of all that had happened before with the Black Cloak and Twisted Staff and the Old Man of the Mountains. I went back to seeing what good friends book characters can be and the lessons to be learned.
Seven Stars was written in the same spirit as the rest of the series, but boy howdy is it dark! Serafina isn’t the little girl who just keeps Biltmore clear of rats anymore. She’s becoming a teenager who has the weight of the world on her shoulders. It was almost depressing reading the first half of the book when Serafina was just lost and in some ways, useless. And if you didn’t think it could get anymore evil or malevolent than Uriah, well then you’d be wrong.
I had a little trouble putting all the pieces of the story together, even by the end, but I still understood enough to appreciate the brilliance of it all. I would even say that this might not be for the younger kids, just because of all the darkness! But I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Serafina and Braeden! An excellent story!
Kim was also able to attend the Launch Party for Seven Stars and meet Robert Beatty again!
**Be sure to go to Jessica’s Reading Room on Facebook as we will be giving away some swag Kim picked up from the launch! This will only be for those of you in the USA.**
Author: Robert Beatty
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Escape into the story of a brave and unusual girl brimming with the ancient powers of the forest. From Robert Beatty, the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina books, comes a thrilling new series filled with the history, mystery, and magic of the Great Smoky Mountains. Kirkus Reviews described WILLA OF THE WOOD as “A moving, atmospheric journey of hope.”
Move without a sound. Steal without a trace.
Willa, a young night-spirit, is her clan’s best thief. She creeps into the cabins of the day-folk under cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work–the day-folk kill whatever they don’t understand–but Willa will do anything to win the approval of the padaran, the charismatic leader of the Faeran people.
When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day-folk world, she calls upon the old powers of her beloved grandmother, and the unbreakable bonds of her forest allies, to escape. Only then does she begin to discover the shocking truth: that not all of her day-folk enemies are the same, and that the foundations of her own Faeran society are crumbling. What do you do when you realize that the society you were born and raised in is rife with evil? Do you raise your voice? Do you stand up against it?
As forces of unfathomable destruction encroach on her forest home, Willa must decide who she truly is, facing deadly force with warmest compassion, sinister corruption with trusted alliance, and finding a home for her longing heart.
I have been a huge fan of Robert Beatty since the day I read Serafina for the first time. He is a master storyteller and has a knack for capturing the beauty and atmosphere of whatever locale he writes about. You can feel his passion for nature, and history, and culture in every word he puts to page. Willa of the Wood is just another example of his amazing talent. The cover, all on its own, is amazing! I couldn’t wait to open the book and start reading, simply because of the beautiful cover! And then once I did start reading, I realized just how appropriate the cover was for the story!
Willa is a cute little Faeran who tries so hard to serve her clan and to take all the education and warnings from her mamaw and padaran seriously. She shows a maturity that makes you think she’s a flawless hunter/gatherer, so it was a little surprising watching her struggle. And her love for her home, her people, and her friends was so sweet. I will admit that the one reason I gave this book 4 stars is because it gets tree-huggery in that really dogmatic, extreme kinda way. Thankfully, Willa comes back from extremity as she grows and learns and she begins to understand necessity. I’m never one to want to stop necessary progress to save a couple trees, but I do also acknowledge that widespread destruction is harmful and wrong.
This book was incredibly emotional for me. By the time I got to the end, I realized that I was tearing up! My heart just got so warm and full; it was wonderful to get to know Willa and the Faeran and all the members of the forest and then to become invested in the story and taking the resolution so personally. I just love this book so much and this is another one that I would suggest giving to any preteen to read. Mr. Beatty is on a roll and I can’t wait to see where he takes Willa and Serafina! A great, great book!!!
Here is Kim with Robert Beatty at his book signing for Willa of the Wood!:
**It’s Time for a GIVEAWAY!!**
Many thanks to Mr. Beatty’s publicist, Scott Fowler for donating a generous Willa of the Wood prize pack for us to giveaway. This is a great prize someone is sure to love!
Included in the giveaway is:
A signed copy of the Willa of the Wood
**This giveaway is run through Rafflecopter and will run from today and end on Tuesday, 8/21 at midnight Eastern.
Due to shipping costs this giveaway will be US ONLY. Once the winner is selected, they will be contacted and their address will only be used for this giveaway. Good Luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Shout outs to:
Buxton Village Books
Here is Kim and Ivan’s trip to Harry Potter World at Universal.
**And don’t worry! The DC vs Marvel debate IS COMING!**
Here is a picture of Kim and Robert Beatty at the book signing for Willa of the Wood: