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Title: The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair

Author: Natasha Hastings

Published: 27th of October 2022 – Harper Collins Children’s

Format: Digital (eARC) – 368 pages


Hello Hello! How are you?

I’ve been feeling ill all week and tested positive for COVID yesterday. I’m struggling with the symptoms a lot so please forgive me if this review is not up to my usual standards, definitely does not reflect on the book which was amazing!

So, I’m bringing you a review of The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings, currently on #UltimateBlogTour with Dave and the team from @The_WriteReads. I’m so glad I signed up to this tour because the book was so enjoyable!

As always, thank you to Dave for letting me be on this tour, and thank you to the author and the publisher for sending me a free copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

Perfect for fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and The Night Gardener, this middle grade historical fantasy follows a girl who makes a dangerous wish in order to bring her brother back from the dead.

It’s winter, 1683, and the Great Frost has swept into London.

By day, thirteen-year-old Thomasina and her friend Anne peddle sweets on the frozen river, hearing rumors of the magical Frost Fair that awakens there at night. They say if you can find it, Father Winter himself will grant any wish you have. And Thomasina has an impossible wish: the return of her twin brother, whose death left her family fractured.

But once they discover Father Winter’s icy kingdom, Thomasina and Anne quickly realize the Frost Fair isn’t exactly what it seems… and that some wishes never come for free.

A heartwarming, moving journey and a magical adventure all in one, The Frost Fair is a dazzling historical fantasy perfect for fans of Frozen and The Real Boy.

MY REVIEW

Trigger warnings: death, loss of a loved/one (on page), grief, illness, conversations about mental health (the bad rep and harmful myths of the time), poverty.

The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings is a heart-warming middle-grade historical fantasy that I finished a few days ago and loved every minute of. It was actually a really long read and despite how ill I’ve been feeling this week, I would have loved to follow these characters’ journey for a lot longer, so I hope it will be a series.

As I said in the introduction, you’ll have to excuse me if this review is a lot shorter than what I usually write but COVID is kicking my butt and my brain won’t work for very long amounts of time right now.

The first thing I noticed when I started this book was that it was perfect for a winter’s night curled up in front of the fire. It is set in London in 1683 during the Great Frost when the river Thames completely froze over for two months. I knew a little about this before going into the book, but I love that it explains the way people used this to their advantage to sell their wares on the river. I love middle-grade historical fiction because it always makes the past engaging and interesting for children.

Thomasina, our main character is still struggling through her grief, as well as her parents after the death of her twin Arthur four years previously. I really liked this main character from the start and found her very human, relatable and loveable. I also really enjoyed how she made a few very good friends during the book, which really warmed my heart.

The Frost Fair was a great historical element to this book, but the Other Frost Fair was a great fantasy element to add to it. I really enjoyed reading about this Other Frost Fair, the Frost Folk and Frost Beasts, even though I had a bad feeling about Father Winter from the start. However, I did really like the character of Inigo in the end.

The writing was beautiful and very fluid, giving the story a whimsical and cosy feel, which made me not want to put it down at all. Life and health willing I’m sure I could easily have read this in a single sitting. I also loved how it ended and how wholesome and heart-warming it was when everything came together.

MY THOUGHTS AND RATING

So, I really enjoyed this book, and it was such an effortless book to read despite some tough topics and important messages it conveyed to the reader. Natasha Hastings did a great job of making all her settings and characters come alive which really gave it a special wintery atmosphere.

I gave The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair 5 stars (full ASPECTS rating below) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I dearly hope it will turn into a series because I really want to continue reading about these characters whom I fell in love with.

If you love middle-grade historical fiction with a fantasy element, loveable characters you just want to wrap in a hug, a cosy and wintery atmosphere as well as a moving and heart-warming tale of love, family, friendship and ultimately forgiveness, then this is the book for you!

ASPECTS RATING

Atmosphere – 8

Start – 8

Pacing – 8.5

Ending – 9

Characters – 8.5

Theme – 8

Style – 9

Total: 59/70

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – NATASHA HASTINGS

Natasha Hastings started developing The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair while studying history at Cambridge University, where she focused on gender and mental illness. While exploring these topics, she became determined to have the lives of working women, as well as their experiences of mental illness in this period, form the heartbeat of her debut book, The Frost Fair.

Natasha’s Links: TwitterInstagramGoodreads


That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Sorry, once again for it not being up to my usual standards, I hope I’ll be back to normal soon.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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