Book: Serafina and The Black Cloak
Author: Robert Beatty
Published: July 14, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Children – Middle Grade
Rating: 3.5-4 stars
Date Completed: 1/16/16
Excerpt from Goodreads: “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.
This book was a whole lot better than I though it would be. I got the audio version of this book since that was the only thing that my Overdrive account had at the time. Even though it took me a while to really get into the story since it isn’t something I normally read or listen to I did enjoy the end of the book.
The Plot: The story takes place at Biltmore estate around Asheville, North Carolina. I live not very far, maybe a couple of hours possibly three, from Biltmore so I loved listening to the history and everyday life of the estate. I want to say that I have been there before but if I did I was very young and don’t remember much so I am hoping to eventually go there soon
The Characters: My favorite character was Serafina who was the MC in the story. She is a young girl who lives in the Basement of the estate with her pa who does some of the maintenance work. She finds a man in a black cloak who steals the souls of children and some adults. She sets out to find out who the man in the black cloak is and in the process she also finds how who she really is.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about historical places and also has a little bit of mystery and fantasy mixed in too.