Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy

Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy
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Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy

Karen Foxlee

Eleven-year-old Ophelia might not be brave, but she certainly is curious. Her family is still reeling from her mother’s death, and in a bid to cheer everyone up, her father has taken a job at an enormous gothic museum in a city where it never stops snowing. Ophelia can’t wait to explore and quickly discovers an impossibility. In a forgotten room, down a dark corridor, she finds a boy, who says he’s been imprisoned for 303 years by an evil Snow Queen who has a clock that is ticking down towards the end of the world.

A sensible girl like Ophelia doesn’t quite believe him, but there’s no denying he needs her help. Ghosts, wolves, misery birds, magical swords - and even fabled Snow Queens - do their very best to stop Ophelia. She will have to garner all her courage, strength and cleverness if she is to rescue this most Marvellous Boy.

Review

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy has it all: a magical realm embroiled in a battle between good and evil; a council of wizards pitted against an evil Snow Queen; a 300-year-old boy and a pragmatic, rational girl caught in a peculiar museum; a delicious juxtaposition of magic and logic; and a quest to save the world.

Our heroes, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, are endearing characters, vulnerable yet strong, ultimately courageous in the face of adversity, their fates inextricably linked. Certainly, Ophelia’s quirky mannerisms and adroit observations inject a touching humour. I cared for both of them deeply and shed a few tears when the going got tough!

In this enchanting story, which skilfully draws from a number of sources, fantasy kingdoms collide and merge with the real world and parallels are artfully drawn and explored. A wonderful adventure, perfect for independent readers 9 years and up, and an ideal read-aloud for the whole family.


Athina Clarke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Malvern.

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