THE CLOCKWORK CROW, by Catherine Fisher, Walker Books US, Sept. 8, 2020, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 9-12)
Catherine Fisher’s The Clockwork Crow is a magical mystery that will transport readers to Victorian Wales.
Orphan Seren Rhys is on her way to a new life at the remote country mansion of Plas-y Fran when she is given a package by a stranger late at night in an empty train station. The package contains a crotchety, mechanical talking crow, which Seren reluctantly brings to her new home. But when she gets there, the happy Christmas she had hoped for turns out to be an illusion — the young son of the house, Tomos, has been missing for almost a year, rumored to have been taken by the fairies. With the Crow’s reluctant help and a little winter magic, Seren sets off on a perilous journey to bring Tomos home. —Synopsis provided by Walker Books US
The Clockwork Crow is exactly the kind of book I needed to read when I read it. There’s a magic that reminds of The Secret Garden while being original unto itself. The setting is such that you never question why certain things happen. And the setting itself is immersive. I was standing outside at the freezing train station and I could smell the mustiness of the all-but-abandoned Plas-y Fran.
Most importantly, author Catherine Fisher doesn’t spell everything out. She leaves room for imagination to fill the gaps. Allowing the reader to take charge isn’t always easy, but The Clockwork Crow is better for it.
Seren is a delightful protagonist that immediately becomes a friend you wish you had. The crow’s cantankerous personality is a nice counterbalance to Seren’s more easygoing nature.
The Clockwork Crow is the first book in a planned trilogy. And the sneak peak of the second book, The Velvet Fox, which was included in my advanced copy, has me excited to read more.
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