Ana Fischel - The Twelve Quests:Bk 1 Bluebeard's Key - Book Review
In 2004, I first came across the charming book publication of The Zartarbia Tales by Ana Fischel. Very quickly the book found its way into
the collectable market, mainly due to its small print run and limited hardback release.
The first book, entitled "Isabella Zophie and Le Cirque de Magique", was published by Pen Press. Book two followed a year or so later, and hence a great start was made to a new and imaginative series of books. However several years passed . . . . still I was waiting for another book to be released. But now five years later, Ana has finally written a new series in the form of 'The Twelve Quests'.
These new books are really a modern day children's fairy tale, that revive the dark Gothic atmosphere of the 19th century, and reignite the richness of European folklore. This series of modern classics tell the woeful tale of ten year old twins, Albert and Florence Leadington, who are forced to embark on an extraordinary trip to complete twelve devious and deadly quests.
Each book covers a deadly quest - twelve books in all to look forward to, with each one delivering a small slice within a much larger fantasy adventure.
The books are set in 1849, when times were particularly unpleasant for most people. Indeed Victorian London was certainly not a great place to live if you were poor, but it was even worse if you had the misfortune to be stuck in Mrs. Snagglesnarle's orphanage. And yet this is exactly where Albert and Florrie find themselves. However one fateful day, the strange and hapless Mr. Arthur Canarthy turns up and informs them that their parents are in fact not dead . . . . . . but alive and cursed.
I now find myself in the position of needing to track down the other six books in the series. Each book has been published with a striking book cover; leading the imagination into a state of overdrive.