Fablehouse: Heart of Fire

Fablehouse: Heart of Fire

By Author / Illustrator

Emma Norry


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Bloomsbury Children's Books




Paperback / softback




Protect your home. Conjure your fire. Fulfil your fate. A gripping story about children finding their power within, with the guidance of the Black Knight from King Arthur's Round Table.

Fablehouse is a children's home like no other. Heather and her friends who live here have magic at their fingertips. The children have a powerful friend in Pal, an Arthurian knight. But not everyone the children meet is on their side. Fablehouse is threatened by an inspector who is searching for a reason to close down this safe haven for mixed-race children.

The kids are desperate to save their home, but Pal is distracted. He cannot rest until he's completed the quest given to him by King Arthur centuries ago. Can magic help the children to fulfil their destiny, or will they be more isolated than ever? Heather can conjure up fire, but is scared that she can't control it. Fire can destroy - but could Heather also use its warmth and protection to save her friends and their home?



Heather and her friends Lloyd, Nat and Arlene live at Fablehouse, a home for mixed-race children born after World War 2. Following their adventures in Fae Fields, they each have a magical power which is growing stronger every day. Heather finds that she can conjure fire, and this scares her because she is finding it very difficult to control. Pal, an Arthurian knight who now lives and works at Fablehouse, is trying to help her but she is finding living with this new power very difficult.

Fablehouse is being threatened with closure; an inspector is searching for any excuse to shut down the very place that gives these children a safe and loving home. Miss Isolde, who runs the home, is therefore desperate for Heather and her friends to keep their magic secret. The children are desperate to save their home, but they, and Pal, are distracted when their old enemy, the Questing Beast, reappears. They also have to deal with the mysterious Rose, who appears from nowhere and captivates the impressionable Arlene. Whose side is she on, and is she to be trusted? It seems the children must use their powers and work together to save their beloved Fablehouse.

Fablehouse: Heart of Fire is the second book featuring Heather, Lloyd, Nat and Arlene - The Roamers - and I loved it just as much as the first. The author takes us straight into the world of these children, abandoned by their families and isolated by the nearby villagers. Inhabitants of Fablehouse are not even allowed to go to the village school as the prejudiced villagers do not want them to mix with their offspring.

Heather is a wonderful character, brave and loyal to her friends and to Miss Isolde; she is determined to overcome her fears about her fire power so that she can use it for good and not for destruction. Lloyd and Nat always have Heather's back and are there to help her whenever she needs them. I particularly loved Arlene, whose beautiful singing voice can influence people in dangerous ways. Left behind when her mother went to America, Arlene is desperate for a family. This desperation makes her vulnerable to the wily Rose, who wants to adopt her and separate her from her friends. Rose seems to be very pleasant and friendly, but when things start to go badly wrong for the Roamers, Heather suspects that Rose may not be all she seems.

Themes of friendship, loyalty, racism and acceptance run throughout this beautifully written book, and the author gives us a thrilling adventure and a very satisfying conclusion. Heather discovers that fire can be harmful, but can also be warm and comforting, and can help to save her friends and the home they love. Hopefully we have not heard the last of the Roamers, I am sure that many more adventures await them!

336 pages / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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