Monday, 28 February 2022

Jo Clarke - Libby and the Parisian Puzzle (The Travelling School Mysteries 1) - Book Review - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 


Author: Jo Clarke
Book Title: Libby and the Parisian Puzzle
Series: The Travel School Mysteries (Bk1)
Illustrated: Becka Moor
Publisher: Firefly Press (3 Mar. 2022)
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1913102708 - Paperback 
Key Words: Mystery, Crime, Paris, Young Adults

The world of fun and mystery starts here with one of my favourite books of March 2022. Just imagine you could go to a school that changed its geographical location every month. Well, if you attended Mousedale's Travelling School this would be your reality. New York (overlooking the Statue of Liberty) followed by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. What an educational adventure and it is where we find Libby following in her adventurous footsteps. 

This is a classic detective mystery with a case to solve and a great location to go with it. It's a plot that starts with a mystery but it soon becomes a complicated puzzle to be solved by our unwilling protagonist and her newfound friend. The plot is well-written with some fantastic images that come to life in a whirlwind of action and some great references to the city of Paris. You'll certainly enjoy the illustration delights by Becka Moor that bring the story alive.

I very much enjoyed the slice of quirkiness from the character's perspective. Whilst I was hoping for a few more red herrings, the story nevertheless really sets up the series nicely for a few more adventures to create a fantastic series. 

This is a really great family fun adventure for everybody to read. It's a fast-paced narrative including a jewel robbery, hot chocolate drinking, and a fantastic friendship all set within the amazing backdrop of Paris. Get ready for a journey so grab a copy of the book, sit back and enjoy the ride - see you on the other side. 

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

The Best Children's US Book Picks February 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 

Lisa McMann - Map of Flames (The Forgotten Five) - Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (February 22, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593325407 - Hardback 

X-Men meets Spy Kids in the new middle-grade series from the New York Times bestselling author, Lisa McMann (The Unwanteds).


Fifteen years ago, eight supernatural criminals fled Estero City to make a new life in an isolated tropical hideout. Over time, seven of them disappeared without a trace, presumed captured or killed. And now, the remaining one has died.
 
Left behind to fend for themselves are the criminals’ five children, each with superpowers of their own: Birdie can communicate with animals. Brix has athletic abilities and can heal quickly. Tenner can swim like a fish and can see in the dark and hear from a distance. Seven’s skin camouflages to match whatever is around him. Cabot hasn’t shown signs of any unusual power—yet.

Then one day Birdie finds a map among her father’s things that leads to a secret stash. There is also a note:  
 
Go to Estero, find your mother,and give her the map.
 
The five have lived their entire lives in isolation. What would it mean to follow the map to a strange world full of things they’ve only heard about, like cell phones, cars, and electricity? A world where, thanks to their parents, being supernatural is a crime?


Pam Muñoz Ryan - Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs - Published by  Disney-Hyperion (February 15, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1484728352 - Hardback 

Middle-grade fans of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising, will find a new Mexican heroine to love in Solimar and a fresh, magical story! 
On the brink of her Quinceañera, and her official coronation, Solimar visits the oyamel forest to sit among the monarch butterflies. There, the sun pierces through a sword-shaped crevice in a boulder, which shines on her and sends the butterflies humming and swirling around her. 

After the magical frenzy, she realizes she's been given a gift―and a burden: she can predict the near future! She has also become a protector of the young and weak butterflies. This alone would be a huge responsibility, but tragedy strikes when a neighboring king invades while her father and brother and many others are away. The remaining villagers are taken hostage―all except Solimar. 


Can this princess-to-be save her family, the kingdom, and the future of the monarch butterflies from a greedy and dangerous king? 

Alexandria Rogers - The Witch, The Sword, and the Cursed Knights - 
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (February 8, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0759554580 - Hardback 

Perfect for fans of The School for Good and Evil and A Tale of Magic…, this Scout Life “Read It” pick and Amazon Best Book of the Month is a charming fantasy debut that puts a new spin on the legend of Camelot.
 
Twelve-year-old Ellie can’t help that she’s a witch, the most hated member of society. Determined to prove her worth and eschew her heritage, Ellie applies to the Fairy Godmother Academy—her golden ticket to societal acceptance. But Ellie’s dreams are squashed when she receives the dreaded draft letter to serve as a knight of King Arthur’s legendary Round Table. She can get out of the draft—but only if she saves a lost cause.
 
Enter Caedmon, a boy from Wisconsin struggling with the death of his best friend. He first dismisses the draft as ridiculous; magic can’t possibly exist. But when Merlin’s ancient magic foretells his family’s death if he doesn’t follow through, he travels to the knights’ castle, where he learns of a wicked curse leeching the knights of their power. 
 
To break the curse, Ellie and Caedmon must pass a series of deathly trials and reforge the lost, shattered sword of Excalibur. And unless Ellie accepts her witch magic and Caedmon rises to become the knight he’s
meant to be, they will both fail—and the world will fall to the same darkness that brought King Arthur and Camelot to ruin. 

Brian Farrey - The Counterclockwise Heart - Published by 
 Algonquin Young Readers (February 1, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1616205065 - Hardback 

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .
 
Time is running out in the empire of Rheinvelt.
 
The sudden appearance of a strange and frightening statue foretells darkness. The Hierophants—magic users of the highest order—have fled the land. And the shadowy beasts of the nearby Hinterlands are gathering near the borders, preparing for an attack.
 
Young Prince Alphonsus is sent by his mother, the Empress Sabine, to reassure the people while she works to quell the threat of war. But Alphonsus has other problems on his mind, including a great secret: He has a clock in his chest where his heart should be—and it’s begun to run backwards, counting down to his unknown fate.
 
Searching for answers about the clock, Alphonsus meets Esme, a Hierophant girl who has returned to the empire in search of a sorceress known as the Nachtfrau. When riddles from their shared past threaten the future of the empire, Alphonsus and Esme must learn to trust each other and work together to save it—or see the destruction of everything they both love.

Friday, 11 February 2022

Dan Smith - Nisha's War - Book Review Blog Tour 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

 

Welcome everybody to a jolly blog tour for Dan Smith's latest book Nisha's War. To find out more about this fantastic book please check out my review below. On Twitter we have a fantastic giveaway; a copy of the book, bar of chocolate and a £10 book voucher to spend on more great books. Please see our pinned tweet on Twitter @Enchantedbooks. Ends 18.02.22 UK Only.

Publisher: Chicken House (3 Feb. 2022)

Book Illustrator: Matthew Land and Cover design by Steve Wells 

Age Range: 9+ (Only a guide)

Paperback: 368 Pages - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎978-1912626755

What makes a good story? Well, for me a good story starts from the very first page by creating a really interesting and intriguing narrative. In Dan Smith's latest book, Nisha's War, the story starts on a grey, Spring evening. Mother and daughter, hardly more than skin and bone, are weary and tired as they depart from the train. The author describes them as travellers from another time and place. By this point, I was hooked and really looking forward to reading more.

The story has so much depth; focusing on the past and the future. There are so many themes that it is a real marvel and a treat. Essentially, this is a historical English ghost story with the main characters fleeing from the WARTIME invasion of Singapore in 1942. Snippets of the character's experiences are shared by Nisha (a young girl) from her diary. However, the story also transports itself to a remote area in the North of England where a brilliantly haunting tale is introduced. There's a puzzle to solve and the introduction of a mysterious weeping tree.

The story is really written with heart and soul; pulling on different character emotions and feelings. Complex topics such as loneliness, grief, guilt, and being a refugee are all tackled creating an interesting discussion. It's a book that feels very relevant today such as coping with many changes that are beyond our control. The story is fantastically well written as it develops different backdrops that submerge you into really creative worlds. 

This has to be the best book that Dan has written to date. It's a story that will give you hope but also a chill to the heart. There is action and adventure in an abundance but also a classic dollop of mystery, and heartwarming friendship. Overall, it is a brilliant, thought-provoking story - it made me think that perhaps it is time for me to find some new friends.

Synopsis: Malaya, 1942. Nisha’s home is destroyed by war and she and her mother, Amma, flee to her father’s ancestral house in England, perched on a cliff top on the cold Northern coast.

When Amma falls gravely ill, Nisha is left to face her formidable grandmother alone. Grandmother's rules are countless, and her Anglo-Indian granddaughter is even forbidden from climbing the old weeping tree.

But when a ghost child beckons Nisha to sit under its boughs, and promises her Amma’s life in return for three truths, its pull proves irresistible ...





Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - The Best Children's UK Book Picks February 2022

 


Lisette Auton - The Secret of Haven Point - Published by  Puffin (3 Feb. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0241522035 - Paperback 

    I was Haven Point's first Wreckling, but I certainly wasn't the last. There are forty-two of us now, not including the mermaids. When you're a Wreckling, you mainly spend your days squabbling, eating and planning adventures. Oh, and Wrecklings also carry out wreckings, which is how we got our name . . .


    Washed up as a baby beside a remote lighthouse and raised by a mermaid, Alpha Lux was the first foundling at Haven Point. Now the lighthouse is a ramshackle home for any disabled person who needs somewhere to belong. Looting from passing ships to make a living, they call themselves the Wrecklings, and for the children of Haven Point life is spent adventuring on the wild shore (and getting into trouble with the grown-ups).

    But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she realizes that her beloved family are in danger of being discovered by Outsiders.

    With their home under threat, the Wrecklings must decide what kind of future they want . . . and what they're willing to do to get it.

    Eve Wersocki Morris - The Bird Singers - Published by Hodder Children's Books (3 Feb. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1444963328 - Paperback 

    'The whistling had started on their first night. At first, Layah thought it was bird song - a high thin sound which became a melody, rising and falling. And each night, it returned.'

    Strange things have been happening to Layah and her younger sister, Izzie, ever since their mother dragged them to a rain-soaked cottage miles from anywhere in the Lake District: there is a peculiar whistling at night, a handful of unusual feathers appear on their doorstep and there are murmurings of a shadowed woman in the forest. And their mother is behaving very oddly. Layah is mourning the loss of her dear grandmother in Poland - and can almost hear her Babcia's voice telling her the old myths and fairy tales from that magical place. 

    And as the holiday takes on a dark twist, Layah begins to wonder if the myths might just be real.

    Mitch Johnson - Spark - Published by Orion Children's Books (3 Feb. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1510107632 - Paperback 

    In a world struggling to exist, only the strongest will survive. The explosive, action-packed new adventure from the award-winning author of Kick and Pop!

    Ash has always lived in Last Village, lonely since the day his father left and never came back.

    The world is unbearably hot, water is drying up, and life is hard. After a vicious thunderstorm, Ash wakes to find that the village's water has completely run out, and all the other villagers have mysteriously disappeared.

    Accompanied by the outcast Bronwyn, Ash sets off in search of water, for answers about what happened to the villagers, with hope they might find 'The Kingdom' - a rumoured land to the north where life still flourishes.

    Ash and Bronwyn have to survive a journey across an arid landscape, discovering that other people out there are even more dangerous than the lightning strikes that follow them. Then they reach The Wall - beyond it, something impossible.

    Lying in wait are the answers Ash is searching for, and maybe even the truth about what happened to his father. If only he could get past The Wall...

    Sometimes all it takes is just one spark.


    Paul Biegel - The King of Copper Mountains - Published by 
    Pushkin Children's Books (3 Feb. 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1782693390 - Paperback  

    A triumphant piece of magic’ 

    After a thousand-year reign, old King Mansolain is tired and his heart is slowing down. Only stories can keep it ticking while his doctor searches for the cure, so creatures from all across the kingdom come to the castle in the copper mountains to sit on the king’s long white beard and tell him their tales.

    Every night a new visitor arrives to tell a story to the king: a fearsome wolf, a lonely rabbit, a fire-breathing, three-headed dragon, and many more. Each tale is more wondrous than the last, but will they be able to keep King Mansolain’s heart beating until the cure arrives?

    Friday, 28 January 2022

    The Best Children's US Book Picks January 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

     

    Garry Paulsen - Northwind - Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (January 11, 2022) - ISBN-13: ‎978-0374314200 - Hardback 

      This stunning novel from the survival story master, set along a rugged coastline centuries ago, does for the ocean what Hatchet does for the woods, as it relates the story of a young person’s battle to stay alive against the odds, where the high seas meet a coastal wilderness.


      When a deadly plague reaches the small fish camp where he lives, an orphan named Leif is forced to take to the water in a cedar canoe. He flees northward, following a wild, fjord-riven shore, navigating from one danger to the next, unsure of his destination. Yet the deeper into his journey he paddles, the closer he comes to his truest self as he connects to “the heartbeat of the ocean . . . the pulse of the sea.” With hints of Nordic mythology and an irresistible narrative pull, Northwind is Gary Paulsen at his captivating, adventuresome best.

      Morgan Rhodes - Echoes and Empires - Published by Razorbill (January 4, 2022) - ISBN-13 : ‎978-0593351659 - Hardback 

      From the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series comes the first book in a brand-new duology about forbidden magic and dangerous secrets, for readers of Victoria Aveyard and Margaret Rogerson.

      Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly.
       
      So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.
       
      Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.
       
      But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows to Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.
       
      In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

      Zack Loran Clark - The Lock-Eater - Published by Dial Books (January 18, 2022) - ISBN-13 : 978-1984816887 - Hardback 

        For fans of Nevermoor and Howl's Moving Castle comes an epic fantasy about a girl with the ability to unlock anything—including the empire's darkest secrets.


        Melanie Gate is a foundling with a peculiar talent for opening the unopenable—any lock releases at the touch of her hand. One night, her orphanage is visited by Traveler, a gearling automaton there on behalf of his magical mistress, who needs an apprentice pronto. When Melanie is selected because of her gift, her life changes in a flash, and in more ways than she knows—because Traveler is not at all what he seems. But then, neither is Melanie Gate. 
         
        So begins an epic adventure sparkling with magic, wit, secret identities, stinky cats, fierce orphan girls, impostor boys, and a foundling and gearling hotly pursued by the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the land.
         
        Action-packed yet layered, The Lock-Eater is a mix of lush world-building, high stakes, humor, and emotional heft—a page-turner and so much more. 

        Jake Burt - The Ghoul of Windydown - Published by Feiwel & Friends (January 25, 2022) - ISBN-13 ‏: ‎978-1250236579 - Hardback 

        Don't miss this book! It takes you to another world―and then terrifies you with surprise after surprise. Great ghoulish fun!” ―R. L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street 

        In this action-packed mystery from award-winning author Jake Burt, Copper Inskeep holds Windydown Vale's deepest and darkest secret: he is the ghoul that haunts the Vale, donning a gruesome costume to scare travelers and townsfolk away from the dangers of the surrounding swamps. When a terrified girl claims she and her father were attacked by a creature - one that could not have been Copper - it threatens not just Copper's secret, but the fate of all Windydown.

        Monday, 17 January 2022

        Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle - THE FINAL WINNER 2021/22 - CHAAYA PRABHAT - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

        This year we had an amazing book cover competition; one of the best for a long time. Therefore, we would like to thank every voter and supporter, illustrator, author, and publisher who got behind our little competition - the newly named Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle. We've had five superb rounds of which you voted in your thousands (about six thousand votes in total) for 25 brilliant book covers. These truly reflect the wealth and talent of the many amazing illustrators who, at times, do not always get the credit they really deserve. The final managed to gather great momentum gaining an amazing 2913 votes. In the end, any of the top four book covers could have won due to the high number of votes they each received. So well done to everyone who supported the illustrators - you have done them proud. 

        The final came to a fantastic conclusion last night where we found another excellent winner... I'm delighted to announce that the winning book cover that caught the wind to success was bCHAAYA PRABHAT for the debut book by Michael Mann - GHOSTCLOUD. Check out more of her brilliant work on her website HERE. The book was published by Hodder Children's Books (7 October 2021) - well done to Samuel Perrett and the team for producing such a wonderful book. It really does deserve to join the hall of fame with all the past winners across the years. Many congratulations!

        2009/10 - Jon Mayhew 'Mortlock' Illustrated by Christian Lorenz Scheurer

        2010/11 - Darren Shan 'Birth of a Killer' Illustrated by David Wyatt

        2011/12 - Curtis Jobling 'Werewolf: Shadow of the Hawk' Illustrated by Andrew Farley

        2012/13 - Thomas Taylor 'Haunters' Illustrated by Steve Wells 

        2013/14 - Niel Bushnell 'Timesmith' Illustrated by James Fraser 
        2014/15 - M. G. Harris/Gerry Anderson's 'Gemini Force One' Black Horizon Illustrated by Blacksheep
        2015/16 -  M. G. Leonard 'Beetle Boy' Illustrated by Julia Sarda 
        2016/17 - Roderick Gordon 'Summerhouse Land' - Illustrated by Stanley Donwood
        2017/18 - (No Book Cover Wars) 
        2018/19 - Vashti Hardy 'Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure' Illustrated by George Ermos 

        2019/20 - Joan Haig - Tiger Skin Rug - Illustrated by Annie Glennie

        2020/21 - Nizrana Farook - The Boy Who Met a Whale - Illustrated by David Dean

        2021/22 -  Michael Mann - Ghostcloud - Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat 

        Monday, 10 January 2022

        Mr. Ripley's Enchanted Books - Children's Book Cover Friendly Tussle - THE GRAND FINAL 2021/2022

        Welcome everybody to the GRAND FINAL of Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books favourite book cover. We have already run five fantastic heats so all the winners/highest runners-up are now ready for your VOTES once again. This is your chance to choose your favourite to be crowned the ultimate winner. So get your finger ready as it all starts NOW. Who will win this YEAR?  

        This week's voters prize is a £10 National Book Token, a book (Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson) and a bar of chocolate. (Sorry open to the UK Only) 

        If you are interested all you need to do is:
        • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll HERE  (or at the bottom of the post)
        • Leave a comment through this post/poll or #RT Pinned tweet on @Enchantedbooks or do both for a better chance to win.
        • This poll will end on 16th JAN 2022 at Midnight (UK). Have fun and share with the world through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Watch the voting develop, and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed).

        So here are all seven book covers to vote for: 


        BOOK ONE: Jakob Wegelius - The False Rose - Book Cover Illustrated by Jakob Wegelius - Published by Pushkin Children's Books (7 Oct. 2021) - VOTE HERE


        BOOK TWO: Lindsy Littleson - The Rewilders - Book Cover Illustrated by Tatyana Komtsyan - Published by Pokey Hat (Cranachan) (3 Mar. 2022)  - VOTE HERE 


        BOOK THREE: Oanis Rawbone - Whippoorwill Lane - Book Cover Illustrated by Karl James Mountford - Published by Buffalo Book Press (30 Sept. 2021) - VOTE HERE 


        BOOK FOUR: Alex Mullarky - The Sky Beneath the Stone - Book Cover Illustrated by Diana Renjina - Published by Floris Books (24 Feb. 2022) - VOTE HERE


        BOOK FIVE: Joe Clarke - Libby and the Parisian Puzzle - Book Cover Illustrated by Becka Moor - Published by Firefly Press Ltd (3 Mar. 2022) - VOTE HERE


        BOOK SIX: Michael Mann - Ghostcloud - Book Cover Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat - Published by 
        Hodder Children's Books (7 Oct. 2021) - VOTE HERE


        BOOK SEVEN: Hannah Gold - The Lost Whale - Book Cover Illustrated by Levi Pinfold - Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books (3 Mar. 2022) - VOTE HERE

        HAPPY VOTING AND MAY THE BEST BOOK COVER WIN...

        Sunday, 9 January 2022

        The Best Children's UK Book Picks January 2022 - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books

        Lucy Brandt (Author), Gladys Jose (Illustrator) - Leonora Bolt: Secret Inventor: BK 1 - Published by Puffin (20 Jan. 2022) - Paperback 

         'Fizzing with fun, friendship and fabulous inventions!' - Maria Kuzniar

        WARNING: EPIC INVENTIONS AND SECRET SOCITIES AHEAD . . .

        Leonora Bolt spends her days creating incredible inventions in her TOP SECRET laboratory, under the watchful eye of her terrifying uncle.

        Everything changes one day when a strange boy washes up on an inflatable lobster and reveals that Uncle Luther has been stealing her inventions and selling them on the mainland. Leonora, armed with her most important inventions, must leave Crabby Island for the first time EVER to embark on an unforgettable journey that will test her brainpower to its limits.

        With the help of an otter with a special skilll, a questionable cook and a singing sea captain, can Leonora dream up an invention that will defeat her evil uncle once and for all?


        Ross Welford - Into the Sideways World - Published by 
        HarperCollins Children’s Books (20 Jan. 2022) - Paperback 

        The moving, funny, thrilling and adventured-filled new novel for readers of 10 and up from bestselling author Ross Welford.

        When twelve-year-olds Willa and Manny hear of a mysterious animal prowling their town, they are determined to prove it is real. Following the creature into a cave one full moon, they are swept into an alternate, ideal, world – one where pollution and conflict have been conquered decades ago and even their own families seem happier.

        But when they return, no one believes them. So, with a global war looming in their own world, their quest for proof of the Sideways World becomes ever-more urgent, in a nail-biting race against time.

        And Willa and Manny will have to make an impossible decision: because once you find a perfect world, can you ever leave it behind . . .?


        Sam Copeland (Author), Sarah Horne (Illustrator) - Greta and the Ghost Hunters - Published by Puffin (20 Jan. 2022) - Paperback 

        The hilarious tale of a family coming to terms with its ghosts - literally.

        Greta Woebegone did not believe in ghosts until the day she was knocked over by a car and almost died. Then everything changed...

        Now Greta can not only see the spirits that haunt her ancestral home, she can talk to them too - from her grumpy Grandpa Woebegone and Percy the poo-pushing plague victim to the sinister spook in the cellar.

        Can Greta help the ghosts avoid being exorcised (a fate worse than undeath)? 

        Can the ghosts help Greta stop her beloved Grandma being put in a home? 

        And can they all help each other overcome the pain in their past that's holding them back from the future?



        Lucy Strange (Author), Pam Say (Illustrator) - The Mermaid in the Millpond - Published by Barrington Stoke (6 Jan. 2022) - Paperback 


        History and myth entwine in this atmospheric tale of freedom and friendship from bestselling author Lucy Strange, and acclaimed illustrator Pam Smy.

        Bess has left the London workhouse behind for a job at a rural cotton mill. But life at the mill is hard and cruel– a far cry from the fresh start Bess hoped for. The only way to survive is to escape, but the mill is like a prison, with no way out. Meanwhile, rumours are spreading about a vicious creature that lurks in the millpond. Bess is sure it’s all nonsense, until one night she sees something stir in the murky water. But is it really a monster that lives in the depths of the pond? Or a creature trapped and alone, just like Bess, desperate to escape?