Review Blog

May 07 2020

Evernight by Ross Mackenzie

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Andersen Press, 2020. ISBN: 9781783448319.
(Ages 10-12). Highly recommended. Evernight is an exciting, fantasy adventure story that takes place in a world called the Silver Kingdom. The main character, Larabelle Fox, is an orphan who lives by finding treasure in the sewers under the city. This is called being a Tosher and she becomes the subject of interest to some evil characters when she finds a mysterious box containing a clockwork bird. The bird seems to like Lara and only comes to life when it is near her.
The book introduces each of the important characters by devoting the first few chapters to stories about them. The plot links them cleverly in the subsequent chapters and it develops into a very intricate, fast-paced tale. We learn about some quite dark magic such as the way the evil Mrs. Hester uses young souls to keep her young body. The story is a little too sinister for reading to younger children but Middle Primary students who like Harry Potter will also enjoy this book.
Lara is a wonderful character who is very loyal and protective of her friends. We meet Joe, who learned to be a Tosher from Lara, and his grandmother who live in an attic. Double Eight is also an interesting character who is a witch working for the Kingdom in a group called the White Witches. These witches do whatever they are told because their souls have been removed by the King's sorcerer, Mrs. Hester. The conflict in which Lara finds herself involves the release of the Evernight by Mrs. Hester, which threatens to engulf the entire world in a deep darkness and brings with it some horrible monsters called the Painted. Mrs. Hester hopes to use it to gain control of the entire kingdom and defeat the Westerly Witches. Lara must learn to harness her newfound magical power to stop it using the Doomsday spell passed down from her mother.
A wonderful, exciting tale and the first in a series about Lara and her friends. Themes: Magic, Sorcery, Good and evil, Orphans.
Gabrielle Anderson

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