“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
Author: Robert Beatty
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: July 14th, 2016
I came across this book on YouTube actually, in a skit by Jesse The Reader. The video was about him freaking out and needing the sequel to this book. It was so funny and so relatable, that when I went to the bookstore the next day I knew I had to purchase it. I began reading the day after I got it, and decided that my first review on this blog would be for Serafina and The Black Cloak. This will be a no spoilers review.
The writing in this book is concise yet imaginative. It doesn’t run on and on, but it makes sure you have a perfect image of the world and what’s happening. It just flowed so smoothly and I couldn’t have asked for a better writing style.
The characters are perfectly three-dimensional. They have flaws, they make mistakes, and even the minor characters have some dimension that makes them memorable when they catch your eye.
The pacing was very good; I didn’t feel at any point that it was dragging or surpassing important information. I was constantly entertained.
The villain was one twist that I was not expecting at all. Who I thought the villain was turned out to be the complete opposite, and I appreciate that immensely in a book.
This isn’t necessarily bad, but the story was kind of predictable. Some of the plot twists were seen a mile away, in my opinion. For others, it will be a total surprise, but for me it was kind of obvious.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars! I would definitely recommend it to anyone at any age!