A good friend gifted me the audiobook of Serafina and the Black Cloak recently. Wow!
Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
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 amazingly well written. Mr. Beatty has a fantastic way with words. I especially loved how he described things around Serafina from her point of view that gave you such a vivid picture of who *she* was.
As for content… It’s dark for a middle grade. I truly enjoyed it, but I think I will have to wait until my kids are a little older before I let them read (or listen to) it, but this has to do with their temperaments. My children are ages 5-11, and all have huge imaginations, which equates to them being easily frightened.
I loved Serafina’s character. The mystery behind the plot was clever and kept me on my toes. Some history was woven into the story in such a way that made me want to look up the estate and family.
Overall, I found it a fantastic read. My only hesitation is, again, that it could be a little scary for some children.