Book Reviews

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

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List Price: £17.47


Hardcover: 464 Pages.

Published: 26 September 2017 by Candlewick Press (MA)

ISBN: 0763691216

EAN: 9780763691219

In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!

Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name -- a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck -- it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name -- Arthur, like the good king in the old stories -- and a best friend. Using Trinket's ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur's true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartok and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Nice Story but a Bit Wordy

This is a sweet story with various elements of Oliver Twists & a slight nod to The Hobbit.


lives in a home for Wayward & Misbegotten Creatures - an orphanage

with distinct echoes of Oliver Twist. He and his friend,Trinket, escape

and set off to find their destiny. Who is Arthur? The only clue is a key

he has and an address stolen from the home's record files.

This is a

nice story with a "feel good" factor. You know it is all going to come

right in the end. The baddies will get their comeuppance & the

goodies will be rewarded. From a moral point of view it is a good book

for youngsters to be reading. There is a lack of serious violence - just

the odd scuffle. Ideal for the older junior school child.

I have to

say that I found the book quite wordy. I do feel that it would have been

enhanced by some editing. I didn't quite loose interest but it was a

close run thing. The book is 462 pages long and would certainly look

quite daunting to the reluctant reader. I imagine that this is really

only going to be attempted by the bookworm which is a bit of a shame

really. Maybe it would have been better as two books?

A nice story and a good read.

I was sent a free copy of this book from the publisher.

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