Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Sophie Anderson - The House with Chicken Legs - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Book Review

Some stories are truly inspired by the soul. They dance with the wind until one day it's time for that story to be born. The House with Chicken Legs is one of those stories. It is Sophie Anderson's debut book for middle-grade readers and is due to be published by Usborne on the 1st May 2018. The story is beautifully told and delicately carved from Slavic folklore; it has been inspired from tales told by Sophie's Prussian grandmother during World War II.

The narrative from the first page leads the reader into a rich fantasy world that is wildly imaginative and very bold. You'll find yourself being swept away in the blink-of-an-eye as 'the house with chicken legs' takes off without warning in the middle of the night before nestling in a dark forbidden wood on the edge of civilization. This is a super start to an epic tale which skips and dances its chicken legs into a macabre world of fantasy.

The book explores the theme of death and the afterlife which are all told through the eyes of the young and loveable protagonist Marinka. Baby Yaga, her grandmother, is an inspirational character. She is a spiritual witch who is wise and very old. Her role is to guide the dead through the gate with tradition, ceremony music and lots of food. This delivers an edge to the story and sends a spine-tingling feeling down the back as the dead march on to the afterlife, or do they?

The story is told with heart, passion and love. Marinka dreams of a normal life, but her destiny may have a different path for her in this gripping adventure that will captivate the reader in so many ways. It's a truly magical story that will transport the reader into a narrative full of emotional challenges and many questions to be answered. As Marinka faces loneliness, friendship and death she tries to challenge her destiny and break free from her grandmother's footsteps.  Unfortunately, her house has different ideas and delivers an endless amount of possibilities.

You will journey across a creative landscape through mystery and sadness. You'll fly over a vivid backdrop like no other and explore the sounds and taste of another culture. It's a story full of tragic events but, eventually, the light shines bright. In fact, the stars come out to play and dance a merry jig leaving you with a warm feeling inside. This is a really memorable classical story that transcends time. It will stay with you forever, regardless of the next adventure that you find yourselves on. 

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