Hidden beneath the high-society Vanderbilt family and their rich guests, Serafina and her pa secretly live in the basement of the Biltmore Estate. Staying out of sight is easy for Serafina, whose uncanny ability to slink through the shadows aids her job as self-appointed rat catcher. Tensions run high at the Biltmore Estate when children begin to disappear, but only Serafina has witnessed the cloaked criminal who lurks after dark.
More and more she wondered what it would be like to have some sort of secret friend who her pa didn’t know about, someone she could talk to about things, but she didn’t tend to meet too many children her age skulking through the basement in the dead of night.
Set in 1899, Serafina and the Black Cloak gives the historical Biltmore Estate a magical and mysterious twist. Beautifully written, I enjoyed the subtlety and careful tension that’s woven into the storytelling. Blending mystery, fantasy, and history together makes for a unique setting and opens the story up to new and more puzzling opportunities to thrill and throw you off track.
Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, both dark and bright, and they will ensnare your soul.
While this is deserves every ounce of hype it’s been getting, Serafina isn’t something I’d recommend to sensitive readers. Bloodshed, violence, high tension, and disturbing imagery/themes play a large part in the story, placing it squarely in the Middle Grade Horror category.
⬢ ⬢ ⬢ ⬢ FOUR STARS
Read my review on Goodreads