By Author / Illustrator
Firefly Press Ltd
Paperback / softback
With an invisible girl, a parliament of owls and a pen that writes by itself, the journey to the garden of the Midnight Swan might be Seren's most dangerous adventure yet. in this third book of the award-winning CLOCKWORK CROW series, Seren and Tomos must try to help the Crow find the way back to his human form. But why is Captain Jones enquiring about Seren's past? How have the sinister Fair Family gate-crashed the Midsummer Ball, and what is the one desire of the mysterious Midnight Swan?
The Midnight Swan is the third book in Catherine Fisher's Clockwork Crow trilogy and, while this was a great, magical adventure as a 'standalone' read, I am sure that it would have been even better if I had read the first two Seren and Crow stories beforehand. I have no doubt that The Midnight Swan brings this enchanting trilogy to a perfect ending.
Many might say that as an adult they are too old for reading and /or believing in fairies, folklore and magic; however, this really was a thoroughly gripping read.
Seren is an orphan, who feels very fortunate to be living with Captain Jones and his family. However, when Captain Jones begins enquiring about Seren's past she starts to worry that the he might have plans to send her back to the orphanage.
Seren and Captain Jones' son, Tomas, must try to help the crow reverse the 200 year old spell that changed him from a school teacher to a clockwork crow.
A magic mirror that stills a fast flowing river; a pin cushion that turns into a thicket of thorns; vanishing places and changing paths; enchanted objects and a secret garden; this book has everything you could wish for in a magical adventure.
For anyone looking for a short, easy to read, story packed full with enchantment and exciting adventure, look no further than this book, indeed this series! I fully recommend this for any reader of KS2 age.
252 pages / Sam Phillips, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+
This is the third in Catherine Fisher's trilogy about Seren and the clockwork crow, full of magic and Welsh folklore. I did review the first book The Clockwork Crow (2018), which was very good and this does not disappoint.
Seren, Tomos and the Crow are still trying to find the Swan's egg and thus restore the crow to his human form. But the Tylwyth Teg, the mischievous and actually quite nasty folk, are determined that they will capture either a human child, or treasure. In the first book they were deprived of Tomos thanks to Seren, but in this story Seren gives herself up in order to save Crow. Fortunately the Midnight Swan is able to give Seren a gift that will nullify this pledge.
Each page is sprinkled with stars and this and the beautiful writing make this a magical experience. Seren, who is very worried about her future, having overheard some remarks that lead her to think she is going to be sent back to the orphanage, stays true to Crow. Tomos is a stalwart helpmeet, and grumpy Crow is the star of the story. The sprinkling of Welsh somehow makes the story a little mysterious. All ends well as every fairy tale should and this makes for an enchanting read for girls of 9+.
Not having read the second story, it took a while to understand what was going on. Even in a trilogy each story should stand alone, so readers need to take care and read the first two books first, not always easy, particularly in present times, with libraries about to be shut again.
252 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian
Suggested Reading Age 9+