Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Emily Windsnap and the Castle of Mist by Liz Kessler (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10)

June 2007, Orion Children's
240 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: life as a mermaid, parents with conflicting cultures, having fun at mermaid school, dangers of the sea, lots of words left unspoken, heartbreaking decisions, losing who you are, evil curses from a king who needs to curb his temper, ditzy psychic saves the day (again), lots of peril, some hunour, tissue will be needed

Summary from Orion

Emily finds a magical ring and a new friend in her third mermaid adventure.

The magic ring that Emily Windsnap - half mermaid, half ordinary girl - finds buried in the sand belongs to Neptune, and he wants it back. But the ring, once on, won't come off, and Neptune sends Emily's boat spinning away across the sea. When it comes to rest, she and her best friend, Shona, can see a mysterious castle shimmering in the mist on the horizon.

Nayuleska's thoughts

Before I discuss the story I must point out that not only is the front cover stunning, but there are beautiful illustrations at the start of each chapter and little ones at breaks in the chapters, all adding to the magic of Emily's tale.

This is my favourite book in the series so far. I like how the problems appear because it's a reminder that life is not without some down times in family life & other relationships. Emily has a lot of heartache, made worse by Neptune. I don't think she'll ever stop annoying him. He's such a bully! He needs to calm down a bit and listen to Emily as it isn't her fault that things turn out the way they do. Maybe it's because she's half-mer that he gets upset - the school teachers seem enamoured with him.

Emily goes through tough emotions as well as physical changes that make her stand out and be different. Her feelings about these changes are realistic and a lot of readers will be able to identify with that, especially those who have a medical condition. Its hard to deal with changes outside our control.

As soon as I started learning about the curse, I instantly thought of the episodes in season 3 of Winx Club. Stella is turned into a sea creature by evil magic and she is separated from her father.

 Stella before the transformation 

Stella the sea creature  
Like Emily Stella is scared that her friends (especially her boyfriend Brandon) will hate her new self. Like Emily she is proven wrong.

Once again Millie plays a role in the story - she's not just there to lighten the mood, she is an extra source of inspiration for Emily. As is Shona, who I adore in this book. She is an eager student, and a fiercesome best friend. When Emily has self-doubt Shona is very forceful about her views. Emily doesn't want to tell Shona what's going on, but somehow she spills it and Shona boosts her spirit which helps Emily succeed in her adventures of this 10/10 read.

You can find out more on Liz's website.

Suggested read

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