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Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert…
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Serafina and the Black Cloak

by Robert Beatty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Serafina (1)

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5323718,946 (3.81)26
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
This was a bed time read-aloud with my girls, 12 and 9, over the last few weeks. Here's how much they enjoyed this book. One sneakily checked it out from her school library to read the ending because she just couldn't wait (I was reading it to them from my Kindle app). The other made me read waaaay longer than usual for the last few nights and even volunteered to read it aloud to us herself if we could keep reading (this is not something she usually wants to volunteer for). So ... great mystery, strong female protagonist, interesting characters, very plot driven. Looking forward to the sequel! ( )
  Janellreads | Oct 18, 2017 |
I picked up Serafina and the Black Cloak because I visited the Biltmore Estate when on vacation in Asheville, North Carolina. When I found out that a young adult novel used the Biltmore Estate as it's setting, I had to have it. Little did I know that it was also a fantasy novel. Could this book be more up my alley?

You certainly don't have to visit Biltmore to read Serafina, but throughout the entire novel I was able to vividly picture every scene. Having visited Biltmore really added to my reading experience. My mom wants to read it as well just because of the setting.

As for the storyline, I really enjoyed it. I found aspects of the story to be rather original ideas. I had never heard of a catamount before, and it made for an interesting premise. I also thought the magic behind the cloak was a very clever idea.

It was a good fantasy novel and I can't wait to see what Serafina does in the next book. She is such a unique character, far from perfect, but that's part of what makes her so likable. ( )
  manka23 | Aug 11, 2017 |
This is one of those MG books that genuinely got to me. There was some super creepy imagery in there in a few places, and when I put it down I was anxious to get back to it. I don't know if it was the setting being so close to me (I've spent many an evening at Biltmore with school and previous jobs) or the character. She's very fairy like, mythical in nature, and I love those types of characters. She is also very motivated, does what she wants and has a lot of agency.
Like I said, I really enjoyed the setting. I felt like it was captured beautifully and really embraced the sweeping feeling of the house. I've always wondered about the secret passages and just how many there are and who would have dwelt there. It's so fun to see that used and used so well! Outside the house was captured just as well, really seeming to latch onto the spookiness that can come in the woods in these areas. It was very well done.
I really recommend this one, it's local to me and I really enjoyed it! ( )
  Adilinaria | Aug 10, 2017 |
DNF: This is less DNF and more a non-starter, I guess, as I quit after the first chapter. The writing was irritating me right from the first pages (clumsy dialogue, weird word repetition, language that seemed simpler than it should be), and then there was a development at the end of the first chapter that squicked me but good. So I'm out. A little bummed, because this series looked promising, but it isn't as if I don't have other books to keep me occupied.
  lycomayflower | Jul 10, 2017 |
If I could give this book a 10 I would. An amazing read and I felt like I was 12 years old again reading and exploring new lives through books for the first time. I wouldn't change a word or event in this book. It was perfect and I highly recommend it for young or old. ( )
  juju2cat | Apr 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Beattyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blank, AaronExecutive producersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elias, MariaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jansson, AlexanderCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korn, LindaDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Serafina opened her eyes and scanned the darkened workshop, looking for any rats stupid enough to come into her territory while she slept. She knew they were out there, just beyond her nightly range, crawling in the cracks and shadows of the great house’s sprawling basement, keen to steal whatever they could from the kitchens and storerooms. She had spent most of the day napping in her favorite out-of-the-way places, but it was here, curled up on the old mattress behind the rusty boiler in the protection of the workshop, that she felt most at home. Hammers, wrenches, and gears hung down from the roughhewn beams, and the familiar smell of machinery oil filled the air. Her first thought as she looked around her and listened out into the reaching darkness was that it felt like a good night for hunting.
Quotations
"Our world is filled with many mysteries, things we don’t understand. 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." —Pa telling Serafina about the forest
"Our character isn’t defined by the battles we win or lose,
but by the battles we dare to fight."
Who is the Man in the Black Cloak?
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Book description
"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."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

A spooky historical mystery-thriller about an unusual girl with cat-like characteristics who lives secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate.
Haiku summary
The Chief Rat Catcher
fights evil, kidnapping cloak
and loneliness, too. 
(readstolive)

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In 1899, a twelve-year-old rat catcher on North Carolina's Biltmore estate teams up with the estate owner's young nephew to battle a great evil and, in the process, unlocks the puzzle of her past.

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