This gorgeous, heart-warming adventure, filled with magical imagination and quirky inventiveness, absolutely captured me from the opening lines, and kept me engrossed throughout as I ventured with Bronte on her many travels.
A telegram arrives to inform ten-year-old Bronte Mettlestone that her parents have been killed by pirates. Bronte’s parents had left her in the care of her Aunt Isabelle when she was a baby, but have left precise stipulations in their Will which Bronte must follow to the letter, or risk the destruction of her home town, Gainsleigh. Bronte must travel throughout the Scattered Kingdoms and Empires – alone – to deliver small gifts to her other ten aunts.
So begins an amazing series of adventures filled with a rather eccentric assortment of Aunts and fantastical creatures from elves to water sprites to dragons. I really want to write about what happens when Bronte visits each of her Aunts, but I really think that is something each reader should enjoy discovering for themselves … and each adventure is an absolute treat!
I will say that, with each of her visits, Bronte has exciting adventures, makes discoveries or learns more about her family and some of their secrets. I really loved reading about each of her adventures which are like mini-stories in themselves – humorous, exciting, dangerous and fascinating. Each adventure is very cleverly woven into the fabric of the story to bring together a much bigger story involving family secrets, trickery and dark magic.
I found it really touching that each of the gifts which Bronte gives to her Aunts invoke treasured memories of Bronte’s parents which they share with her. But do her parents have another motive for choosing each of the gifts?
The plot is masterfully woven and fabulously engaging, and took me on a series of richly imaginative adventures to a beautifully heart-warming conclusion. I wasn’t expecting some of the twists about Bronte’s parents, and what Bronte discovers about herself. I love when a story surprises me, and this one definitely did!
Bronte is the most wonderful, kind-hearted young girl, brought up to be very proper by her Aunt and Butler. Secretly excited by the idea of an adventure, she is courageous and determined, but also humble. These qualities, along with her sharp wit, curiosity and astute observations, help her overcome the difficulties she finds on her many adventures.
This is a delightfully enchanting adventure which kept me utterly entranced as I journeyed with the wonderful Bronte on her ‘extremely inconvenient adventures’ to learn some incredible family truths whilst making new friends along the way. I was so excited when I saw that the second book in the series, The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars, is publishing later this year.