It is with much excitement that I introduce you to Sally Gardner’s first middle grade title since the award-winning ‘I, Coriander,’ 14 years ago!
When Celeste wakes up in a costume basket at the Royal Opera House, she hopes that her encounter with the strange man in an emerald green suit at the bottom of the ocean was nothing but a bad dream. But nothing is quite as it was before. Why do people think she can dance and why do they keep calling her the wrong name?
Following a terrible accident involving Celeste and the magnificent crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon which used to hang high in the roof of the theatre, she is haunted by the ghost of a strange girl who seems to know all about Celeste’s past. She also knows about her frightening encounter with the man in green and why she must now play a dangerous game called the Reckoning if Celeste is ever going to be able to save the lives of those she loves. It’s simply a case of uncovering where the past meets the present and finding the future.
This is a dark, shimmering nightmare of a fairytale set in the most sumptuous of surroundings. As you’re reading, it will ensnare your senses until you can imagine the snow crunching under your feet, and feel the warmth from the stove thawing your hands. Until you can hear Hildegard singing in the opera house and see the dust in the costume makers’ studio. Just perfect for settling down with as the winter nights start to draw in.
Beautifully written, the mysterious unfolds piece-by-piece as Celeste’s memories, and those of the people around her, slowly return. Filling in pieces of the puzzle until Celeste feels ready to confront the emerald-suited man with the things he desires. But will this be enough for a man who seems to lie and change the rules of the game at will?
Definitely a tale which will capture the imaginations of your more mature Key Stage 2 readers, taking them back to 1870 and to the deepest depths of the ocean.
*Thank you to Zephyr Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. Make sure you visit some of the other stops too!*