Today’s my stop on the Blog Tour hosted by the wonderful The Write Reads for The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings! Thank you Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book through NetGalley for the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Title: The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair
Author: Natasha Hastings
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: November 1, 2022
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 368 Pages
An amazing and captivating, curl-up-on-the-sofa debut about a magical frost fair and the lasting power of friendship.
It’s a cold winter during the Great Frost of 1683. Thomasina and Anne are the best of friends, one running her father’s sweet shop and the other the apprentice at the family apothecary – together they sell their goods on the frozen River Thames. When a family tragedy turns Thomasina’s world upside down, she is drawn to a mysterious conjuror and the enchanted frost fair.
But soon the world of Father Winter threatens to claim everything she holds dear. Will they be able to solve the magical mysteries that surround them . . . ?
This was such a unique and fun historical middle-grade fantasy adventure! It was full of winter vibes, adventure, friendship, and it had a mysterious sense of danger running throughout the story.
I really liked the characters in this book. I loved Thomasina and I loved how much she wanted to help her family. I liked that she was clever and smart and brave. I also liked that she was flawed, and that she got angry, and that she wasn’t always rational. I thought Inigo was a fascinating character. I liked that there was a mystery surrounding him and a bit of magic. I also liked Anne and Henry, and I thought that Thomasina, Anne, and Henry made an excellent and memorable trio. I also loved that Thomasina and Anne wanted to be involved in business.
I loved how magical The Frost Fair was. The idea of the River Thames being completely frozen and full of activity during the day and transforming into the Other Frost Fair at night is really neat. Even though the Other Frost Fair did seem creepy at times, it also felt like a magical place. I liked the descriptions of both the Frost Fair and the Other Frost Fair, and I thought that the author did an excellent job bringing these fairs to life.
I liked that this book dealt with grief. Even though it’s sometimes difficult for me to read about, I do like it when grief makes an appearance in books, especially in children’s books. I think it’s important for people to see that grief takes many different forms and that it is a normal part of life.
I liked that this book is historical in nature. I don’t know anything about the Great Frost of 1683, but it was cool to read about in this book. I liked that it was clear that this book took place in a different time period, between the medications that people got at the apothecary to the way that mental health and other illnesses were looked at. It was a neat time period to read about.
I also liked the adventure in this book. I liked that there was a sense of mystery and danger throughout the story. There were moments that kept me on the edge of my seat, hoping that the characters would be okay. However, I will say that I did find the beginning of this book to be a bit slow, but I did appreciate that this slower part laid a solid foundation for the rest of the story.
Overall, this was a fun and magical middle-grade read. It was cozy, it was full of friendship and excellent characters, and it’s the perfect adventure to pick up on a chilly day.
Rating: 4 stars!
Natasha Hastings started developing The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair while studying history at Cambridge University, where she focused on gender and mental illness. While exploring these topics, she became determined to have the lives of working women, as well as their experiences of mental illness in this period, form the heartbeat of her debut book, The Frost Fair.