cover image The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

Janet Fox. Viking, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-47633-3

In this intricately plotted thriller from Fox (Sirens), the stalwart Bateson children have more to fear from Lady Eleanor, headmistress of their new boarding school in Scotland, than from the bombs of the 1940 London Blitz. Evacuated with two younger siblings to live in a distant relative’s castle, 12-year-old Katherine has only her father’s parting words, her great-aunt’s parting gift of a silver heirloom chatelaine, and fellow student Peter for support in a terrifying battle against evil forces set loose 200 years earlier. Warnings of frightening nighttime noises and disappearing children quickly come too close for comfort, and the quartet’s certainty of a Nazi threat sets them on a trail of discovery and misdirection. Initially grounded in logic and her father’s teachings, Kat’s faith crumbles against disconcerting evidence that, in this castle, magic is real, nothing is what it seems, and a Voldemort-like villainess must be destroyed. True-to-life protagonists, the skillful interweaving of flashbacks and the chatelaine motif, a masterful final encounter, and a satisfying denouement attest to Fox’s craftsmanship. Ages 10–up. [em]Agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Mar.) [/em]