Synopsis: An enchanting, suspenseful story of a curious girl, a family curse and impossible alchemy from the acclaimed author of School for Nobodies.

Mim grew up surrounded by secrets. On the day she was born, her mother died and a mysterious curse was cast on her family. Ever since, she’s been isolated in a walled castle, forbidden from venturing to the Outside.

But Mim has never been able to stop asking questions – and when her father enlists the suspicious Madame Marionette to train her in the art of being a princess, her curiosity only gets more intense.

Determined to understand, Mim sets out on an epic adventure in which she will break all the rules, encounter strange creatures and use all her cunning to solve impossible problems. But will it be enough to bring happiness back to the lonely castle on the rock?

Release Date: 3rd June 2021

Genres: Middle Grade, Magic/Alchemy, Fantasy, Adventure

Pages: 320

Thank you so much to Pushkin Press and Netgalley for the earc to read and review.

Review: Jemima (Mim) a young princess born on her kingdoms curse day grows up with an enquiring mind with no answers for why the castle and the kingdom is surrounded by a wall or what the outside is really like. After her father finally sees her he invites someone new to the castle to train her up for her princess duty, which in return makes her desperate for escape from the life she’s in and she sets off on an adventure.

Before I say too much I must say I didn’t overly like this story, I couldn’t get into it, nor could I connect to any of the characters at all. That’s not to say it isn’t a good book, it really is good and offers a lot that would really capture someone’s attention and get them hooked into this story, it just didn’t get me, it just wasn’t for me I suppose.

The story had some fascinating areas such as the alchemy magic that Mim learns, her adventures to solve and get rid of the three Impossibles curse, the merpeople and the creatures she meets along the way.

I loved that after the life Mim had been living and with her overly curious mind, plus with the evil Madame Marionette it convinced her she had to leave, she finally found a way to answer her own questions. I must say though she didn’t come across like an 11 year old to me.

The adventure is very exciting and getting the answers with Mim is great, Madame Marionette is evil and will creep you out with her evilness. This book teaches all about alchemy (which isn’t talked about or explored very often in MG books which is a shame as it’s an interesting form of magic.) This book offers a lot and has such a fun adventure, I know that this story will be something that kids around 9-12 would really enjoy and love to read and escape into this world.

About Author: By the time she hit her teens, Susie Bower had lived in 8 houses and attended 7 schools. This theme continued in her working life: she’s been a teacher, a tour-guide, a typist, a workshop facilitator, a PA and a painter. She formerly wrote and directed TV programmes for children at the BBC and Channel 4, for which she won a BAFTA Award, and she currently writes audio scripts. School for Nobodies, her debut novel, is also available from Pushkin Children’s. Susie lives in Bristol.


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