11 November, 2015

Book Review: The Puzzle Ring

From GoodreadsHannah Rose was not quite 13 years old when she discovered her family was cursed. . . .
The arrival of a mysterious letter changes Hannah’s life forever. One day she is an ordinary teenage girl. The next day she discovers she is heir to a castle in the Scottish highlands—a castle that was cursed more than four hundred and forty years ago.
The curse has haunted her family for generations, culminating in the disappearance of Hannah’s father the day after she was born. A prophecy tells of a Red Rose who will save a Black Rose, solve the puzzle ring, and break the curse. Red-haired Hannah is determined to be the one.
Yet, to break the curse, she must go back in time to the last tumultuous days of Mary, Queen of Scots . . . a time when witches were burnt and queens were betrayed and the dark forces of wild magic still stalked the land. . . .

Thoughts: My love affair with Kate Forsyth began with The Wild Girl. It is still the first book I mention when people ask for a suggestion.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit I did not realise she was such a prolific children's writer. I am not surprised that the beautifully crafted writing I discovered in The Wild Girl is also present in The Puzzle Ring.
The Puzzle Ring is the type of book I would have devoured as a child. It is magical and mysterious, with real danger and evil for our characters to face and defeat. Forsyth takes one child's ordinary life and weaves in faeries, magic and time travel in such a way any young child reading it would instantly believe this could happen to them. I loved the how Hannah and her friends went back in time and were shown the reality of living during the days of Mary, Queen of Scots. It was cold and dirty and the food was not particularly nice. If you travelled you did so on foot and slept rough. You needed to keep your wits about you at all times, especially if you could be accused of being a witch!
If you have a child with a love of Narnia or Spiderwick get them onto Kate Forsyth, I don't think they will be disappointed.

The Puzzle Ring gets 4 stars.

*        Did not like it
**       It was OK
***      Liked it
****    Really liked it
*****   It was amazing