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Review of The Company Of Eight by Harriet Whitehorn

by - May 10, 2018

Genres: Childrens, Adventure
Pages: 208
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Release Date: 03/05/2018
Find The Author: (Website/Twitter)
Find The Book: Book Depository/AbeBooks UK/US
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(Received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

When Ravellous's Circus Ship comes to Minaris, Cass is determined to audition despite her guardian Mrs Potts's disapproval. But when her chance is snatched away from her, Cass refuses to give up. She sets out to follow the Circus Ship and the journey leads her into dangers that challenge even her adventurous spirit. Will she succeed in following her dream, or is her destiny something altogether different?

A beautifully written adventure story for fans of The Girl of Ink and Stars from Harriet Whitehorn, award-winning author of the Violet series.

If I could go back in time and recommend books to myself as a child, this would be near the top of my list. The Company Of Eight is a pretty fantastic fantasy adventure story with old-London themes, pirates and mysterious spies. Cass is a girl trapped in a world of tight dresses and afternoon teas when she decides to run away to become an acrobat - a journey that will take her across many countries, many ships and right into danger.

The world building here wasn't too bad, I got a solid picture of what the world was like and the different countries. However I wished we had the time to stop and really discover the places we landed in, as it seemed like we were there at the start of the chapter and gone by the end. The Island Of Women was my favourite, I would have chosen to live there.

There's a few interesting themes from our own history that are recognisable - I got the vibe of old Dickens London at the start, when Cass's guardian was trying to pressure her into becoming an older lady's companion. I didn't quite understand why she skated so many places, so I went with guessing that it might be similar to the London Winter Fayres, when the Thames was frozen over. There's a fantastic episode of Doctor Who that covers this.

 There's magic here too, something that I'm hoping is explored better in potetial future books. Cass's friend Lin seems to go into trances a lot and reads people's fortunes, I think, while it's said that magic does not affect Cass at all, something that is almost magical itself. This wasn't fully covered, so that's why I'm hoping it comes up later. It's a really fun story of pirates and thieves, acrobats, spies and magic. Harriet created a world which I really loved and I really want to go back there.

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