Book Title: The Mask of Aribella (available here)
Author: Anna Hoghton
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: January 2020
Most Suitable For: KS2
A fast-paced tale of magic and intrigue set in Venice, well-pitched for fans of Katherine Rundell, Abi Elphinstone and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
Aribella is the daughter of an elderly Venetian lace-maker. Just before her 13th birthday, Aribella discovers a secret power: when she gets angry, sparks and flames shoot from the tips of her fingers. Frightened that her powers will be revealed and bring trouble from the authorities, Aribella flees from her family home and finds herself in the care of a secret organization of masked warriors with magical skills. Before she knows it, Aribella is caught up in a magical battle against menacing spectres who wish to rise up and put the whole of the city under threat.
The Venetian setting is evocative and atmospheric - a city that sings of intrigue, dark secrets and hidden magic. There's an element of mystery to solve and plenty of twists to keep the reader on their toes. With themes of friendship, light-overcoming-darkness, magic and belonging, The Mask of Aribella is an exciting and appealing choice for middle-grade fans of magical realism.
Many thanks to the publishers at Chicken House for sending us a review copy and inviting us to take part in the blog tour. Check out the other stops, too!
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