cover image The Castle of Tangled Magic

The Castle of Tangled Magic

Sophie Anderson. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-338-74621-1

Even though a revolution a century earlier ended with a “fallen throne,” 13-year-old Olia’s formerly royal family, which reads as white, has continued to dwell in Castle Mila leading up to its 500th birthday. While her carpenter parents maintain the ancient structure, which is built entirely of wood and boasts 13 domes, narrator Olia, an artist, delights in discovering its secrets and seeking her way into the domes, which her Babusya insists “are filled with magic that has been locked away from the world.” When a terrible storm threatens the building, Olia and her new companion, a foxlike domovoi named Feliks, must travel to the Land of Forbidden Magic—a realm locked away following a rivalry between a wizard and one of Olia’s ancestors. But as the magic seeks to break through castle and realm, both are in danger of being destroyed forever. To save her home and prevent a catastrophe, Olia must join with several nature spirits to fight the wizard. Again drawing on Slavic myth, Anderson (The Girl Who Speaks Bear) writes an intimately cadenced adventure, rendering the magically charged setting a character of its own while emphasizing themes of perspective, family legacy, and following one’s gut. Ages 8–12. Agent: Gemma Cooper, Bent Agency. (Mar.)