The House at the End of the Sea

The House at the End of the Sea

By Author / Illustrator

Victoria M. Adams


Magical Realism

Age range(s)



Andersen Press




Paperback / softback




Saffi doesn't want her new life, living with her dad, little brother and old-fashioned grandparents in their B&B by the sea. She is grieving for her mum and longs for things to go back to normal.  But this new home is anything but normal: the walls change colour, a face appears in the mirror, and the pantry is suddenly filled with fancy food. When a party of extraordinary visitors arrive at midnight, Saffi begins to realise that her family has a dark, magical secret. It will take all her bravery to discover the truth and find a way into another world...   Cover art by Sharon King-Chai



An eerie and creepily sinister fantasy adventure that roots its story in fairy folklore and tales of magical dark deeds, and their consequences. In a heart-wrenching storyline, a family try to come to terms with devastating grief and loss and take the first steps to construct a new but broken life.

Saffi, Milo and their dad are moving to their grandparents' isolated Victorian clifftop house. Fortune House, however, is no comforting home in which to heal but a foreboding, mysterious villa where strange, unseen visitors soon arrive in the midnight hours and the house itself seems to change; faces watch through mirrors, decadent food is frenziedly made by a nervous Grandma and scurrying creatures lurk in the background .

The already traumatized young Milo believes his mum is trying to contact him and emotions and fears run high within him and in her sister Saffi as they befriend a young local boy and the deep secrets and powerful past of Fortune House and their family ancestors comes magically and malevolently to light.

The House at the End of the Sea is a captivating, vivid and nerve tingling story. I loved the dramatic tension set against a dramatic backdrop of looming cliffs and hidden caves. The colonial past of the house and family is brought fiercely into focus as Sir Henry Fortune's dark dealings with the faery folk are revealed and Saffi realizes she alone can face down the cruelty of the Fairy Queen and end the grim, cold-hearted powers she wields over the Fortunes.

This story is wonderfully written, twisting around the very real human emotions of grief and loss and then distorting reality with a forgotten, feared and disturbing magical realm. The emotions are raw and powerful and the faeries are threatening and and fantastical. An enchanting, extraordinary story.

256 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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