Strange Star


The year is 1816.  Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley and friends are gathered at the Villa Diodati for an evening of story telling. Outside storms rage so imaginations are heightened. Therefore, the guests are challenged to create tales that will freeze the blood’.  However, the evening is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of a young girl, with a tale to share that is more shocking than anything than the Romantic literary heroes could possibly imagine….

Emma Carroll has carved out a deserved reputation as one of the very best writers of historical fiction for children. Her novels are beautifully written tales of adventure and intrigue, with brilliantly written characters and highly entertaining plots. ‘Strange Star‘ takes isto the early 19th century at a time of great scientific advances. It includes some of the great heroes of English literature within the plot, yet never removes her focus from Lizzie, trying to find her sister who has mysteriously disappeared.

Although there are undoubtedly scary moments in ‘Strange Star‘, it is never less than wholly believable, moving and always remains on the right side of frightening.

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Strange Star

Emma Carroll

(Faber and Faber)

Beneath a Strange Star, on a moonlit night, history will be made. Gathered at the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva are Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley. It seems that this evening, they are provoked to tell stories that might ‘freeze the blood‘. However, their storytelling is interrupted, by something that shocks them to their cores. Who is the figure on the steps? Furthermore what does she have to do with the people gathered at the Villa? Then again, could it be that this unexpected visitor might have a story that chills them all?
We may know a little of the outcome of this gathering of Romantic literary heroes other than through fictional recreations such as Mary and Frankenstein. However, Emma Carroll takes her research and our fascination to creates a spellbinding tale. Furthermore, she is true to the roots of the tale that we might see glimpses of the outcome. It means that we are informed and captured rather like the guests at Villa Diodati. Then again, we feel the chill, the menace, the competition and the surprise of the knock of the door. For Emma Carroll to add a little more to what we know, demonstrates her skill and imagination too. Who is this girl? Who does she seek? What might they have to do with her search? We are led on an entirely fresh, yet nonetheless absorbing quest!
Strange Star is a top quality ‘Gothic’ thriller by Emma Carroll, the Queen of historical fiction for children. Bookwagon recommends it highly to all confident readers.



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