The Fire Star by A. L. Tait

cover image

A Maven & Reeve Mystery. Penguin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760897079. 306pp.
(Age: 10 - 14) Highly recommended. The word 'mystery', and the prospect of a series to come, are drawcards for young readers today. All good ingredients make this book appealing - a mystery, a historical adventure, an unlikely partnering of a squire and a maid, and rather frightening villains. A. L. Tait is the best selling author of The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher; she is also well experienced in magazines, newspapers and online publishing. This helps to explain the fast-paced narrative in this intriguing story, which promises further adventures. There is a strong historical feel to this novel - the cover suggests medieval heraldry and the reader gains insight into the importance of a coat of arms to family. The story shows how small decisions can lead to big events. The language of the novel gives it historical authenticity too.
We are intrigued by the solving of a mystery by Maven and Reeve, their 'partnership' reminds the reader of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson both working to solve the crime.
Julie Wells