Release Date: March 15th, 2016 by Penguin Random House
Genre: MG Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review via a Giveaway hosted at Word Spelunking
Something is not right at Rookskill Castle, a rundown Scottish manor shrouded in mystery. The castle is a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz, but soon it’s clear there is something terribly wrong. There are clues hinting that a spy is in the house, and there are undeniable signs of a sinister magic. When the children in the castle’s temporary boarding school begin disappearing one by one, it’s a race against the clock for twelve-year-old Kat Bateson, her two younger siblings, and their new best friend.
My initial reaction to The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle was that it was unnerving, not quite creepy, but very unsettling. The story takes place in Scotland and has all the feel of being mysterious, dark, and drafty. Something seems to be lurking in the corridors of the castle, and there are rumors that the castle is haunted, what with the strange sightings of young children wandering the grounds. Yet, there are only small hints to what this mysterious thing is. The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle begins with some historical background on what a "chatelaine" is, think a charm bracelet but worn at the waist, and a creepy poem about the charms on one particular chatelaine (Lady Eleanor's). The plot then slowly unfolds with each chapter alternating between time periods, characters, charms on the chatelaines and just what the Lady of Rookskill's plans are. I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded, it kept things tense and suspenseful, so much that it was very hard to put it down. I really wanted to see how everything was going to come together and boy did it. Lovely atmospheric story, with great historical details and suspense, plus Fox leaves things open enough that there could be another book.