Fledgling

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Pub Date 4 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 4 Nov 2021

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Description

A dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with owls and magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems to be…


A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events. Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister.


With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect all that she holds dear?


The fantastic debut novel from Lucy Hope, with cover illustration by Anna Shepeta.


*Please note that this is an uncorrected advance proof copy. The supplied PDF will be converted to allow you to read this book on Kindle and other ereaders, which means some visuals might be out of place. This reading experience is not representative of the final ebook, which we'll make available at a later date.

A dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with owls and magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems to be…


A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering...


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ISBN 9781839941887
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 45 members


Featured Reviews

In the year 1900, Cassie Engel lives in an unusual house perched precariously on top of a tall rock on the edge of the Bratvian Forest overlooking to town of Edenburg. She lives with her cold and aloof opera-singing mother, her enthusiastic but not particularly skilful taxidermist father, and her grandma who is gravely ill. One night, during a violent storm, a cherub flies into Cassie’s room. But this is only the beginning of a series of mysterious happenings that will transform her life irrevocably. The cherub herself is more birdlike than babylike and is an intriguingly ambiguous character—both vulnerable and powerful. Cassie feels a strongly protective urge towards her, but when Cassie is attacked by the sturmfalken—predatory birds—the cherub defends her, and Cassie begins to suspect that the little angel has come to her for a particular reason. The sturmfalken are gathering in the forest, Cassie’s parents are acting strangely, and something is happening to her best friend, Raphael. As the storm clouds gather, Cassie, Raphael and the cherub must solve the mystery of Raphael’s birth and protect themselves from the threat that is looming from the sky. I loved Cassie’s weird house, full of innovative inventions like the ‘zip’—a steam-powered platform that acts a lift, and a mechanical roof that opens like the petals of a flower. The Bavarian setting gives the book a dark, Grimm’s Fairy Tale feel, while the sinister characters, dreamlike prose and uncanny owls imbue it with hint of Twin Peaks-style surrealism. ‘Fledgling’ is a startlingly original and eerily atmospheric tale, perfect for fans of Frances Hardinge. I was thoroughly captivated, and utterly blindsided by the ending. Highly recommended.

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I really enjoyed this title and highly recommend. I feel this will make an excellent addition to anyone’s book collection. Please be sure to go and pick this one up!

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I love gothic literature and this is the book I hoped for as a child. It is a perfect read for middle graders that are wanted to explore dark and gothic literature that isnt too scary. A great debut

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Fledgling is a real treat for those who love a gothic story full of thrills and atmospheric settings. Taking place at the turn of the century in 1900, everything about Cassie's life is remote; from the rock-edge house in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps to her aloof and emotionally distant parents and a gravely ill grandmother. When a strange cherub-like creature appears after a storm, a series of strange events are set into motion and a shocking family secret is brought to light. With owls and angels, menacing storm birds, an eerie forest setting and a family mystery to uncover, there's plenty of tension around each corner in Lucy Hope's debut narrative. Taxidermy animals and strange inventions furnish the inside of Cassie's home, while outside in the forest there are storms and strange birds and all the noises of the forest. There's a sense of darkness gathering throughout the story and a brilliantly gothic cast of characters and setting. The story feels surreal in places, while never losing the thread of hope pulled long by Cassie and the cherub and finished with a warming message about love and family. Many thanks to the publisher for sending us an early copy for review. This book is featured on our Autumn 2021 Ones to Watch selection: https://www.booksfortopics.com/post/ones-to-watch-new-children-s-fiction-for-autumn-2021

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A creepy and spine-chilling tale, with unexpected twists almost at the turn of every page, Fledging is perfect for young horror fans, but definitely not suitable for those faint of heart! When Cassie discovers a cherub in her bedroom, life as she knows it is about to change forever. Can she unravel the secrets of the past to fix the future or will redemption be beyond her reach? Fledging is a dark, gothic mystery. It’s unpredictable and unnerving and may leave the reader unable to sleep! I would recommend this for very brave Year 6 pupils and above. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book is set at the beginning of the 20th century in a small Bavarian village in Germany. Cassie lives with her parents and sick grandmother in a house high on the mountainside. The house is amazing. It has been added to by successive generations and is full of incredible and eccentric inventions. One evening, during a violent thunderstorm, a cherub flies (or is blown) into Cassie’s room. She and her friend, Raphael research cherubs in the family library but remain puzzled by its nature and purpose. As the story unfolds, the truth behind the cherub becomes clearer but it is not until the very end that we discover the real reason for the cherub arriving. This is an inventive story with some dark, spooky parts especially the moments in the forest and the castle. Cassie is a likeable heroine who has a very stubborn streak as she tries to discover what is going on and untangle the mystery around her friend and family. The story is full of gothic elements including a whole host of stuffed owls, an eerie forest and castle as well as an entire cast of characters, many of whom are not quite who they seem. I wasn’t completely convinced by the twist at the end but this is an enjoyable story which I’m sure will be enjoyed by readers of 10 upwards. Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers Nosy Crow for an advance copy of this book.

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I have been left without words after reading this book. It has been an emotional rollercoaster full of friendship, fear, pain, hope, loss and love. I am trying not to give any spoilers but it is hard as I am so desperate to share this story and talk about it. At the start of the story I wasn’t sure where it would lead. I suspected a rescue mission of sorts entwined with magic and mystery. I wasn’t wrong but it turned out to be so much more. As the story progressed - to me it seemed to mirror the painful journey of losing a child to illness. The fear of what would come, the knowledge that it was inevitable, the anger - the demons that were always there just waiting. The ending came as a complete surprise to me. At no point at I predicted the outcome. A sign of good story telling - I was led down paths that kept me wanting more. I became invested in the characters and was willing them their safety. Perfect for readers 11+ Trigger warnings - loss of family members.

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A refreshingly unique story with a unusual and memorable cast of characters. I loved the geographical setting (and the house itself, with its weird and wonderful contraptions), and the twist at the end was perfect... would definitely recommend.

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I really enjoyed this book by Lucy Hope. The blurb promised 'A dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with angels and owls and magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems to be,' and it delivered it all. Engagingly written, with a fresh, clear voice, I enjoyed the worldbuilding and found myself gripped by the story as it raced to a satisfying conclusion.

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I received from Netgalley for an honest review. This book is perfect for this time of year, mysterious, dark and gothic. It has you in the edge of your seats and is so creepy! The story is set on house that is perched on top of a tall mountain in Edenburg in the Bavarian Forest in the year 1900. Cassie, our main character, lives with her taxidermist father and opera singer mum, but they are a cold and distant family. One night there is a terrible storm and a feathered creature flies into Cassie’s window, immediately she has to tell her best friend Raphael. The story follows from there as we unveil family secrets, creepy owls and birds and see why this creature has arrived. I don’t think I ever really guessed what was going to happen next, the story had you on the edge of your seats and the gothic dark atmosphere is perfect for this time of year. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, creeped out in many parts and would love to see a development on when the story ends up being left at. Would highly recommend if you are looking for a gothic book with twists and turns and an unexpected ending. The story has a chilling vibe and I’m not sure I can look at birds in the same way. It also incorporates German language effectively to tell the story too. A great feathery tail that offers so much more in ways of depth and analysis too.

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Adored this beautifully gothic story. It is one of friendship and family with beautiful creepy vibes. A cherub appears and Cassie, with her friend, Raphael, tries to work out what it means. But strange things keep happening. It is a wonderful story, dripping with atmosphere set in the wonderfully spooky Bavaria. Gorgeous.

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A most unique story of cherubs, angels and ascensions, it is one that has surprising twists and feels steeped in myth and legend. The setting of Bavaria encourages my feeling of myth and legend being woven into this book. A large foreboding forest, sheer rock face houses and taxidermy throughout the house- it all leads to dark and mysterious plots. Cassie lives in a large house built into a sheer rock face, overlooking the nearest town. Over the years, new floors and rooms have been added according to each generations needs. There is an Owlery for the large collection of stuffed owls, a music room for Cassie’s operatic mother as well as a library, work room for her Papa and everything else in between. As the story begins, there is a storm raging and hearing a tap on her window, something hurls itself in once the window is opened. Cassie immediately summons best friend Raphael from the town to see her discovery and to help her. It is a cherub, and they need to understand why it has come and how to care for it. The cherub, we later learn, is there to help them. I haven’t read anything like this before and love it’s unique story. There are suspicious characters, an old wives tale that turns out to be truth and owls who predict change. The relationships between Cassie and her parents is strained and her Grandmother lives in a morphine induced sleep, so she and Raphael work together to discover the mysteries of the cherub, the house and of the Sturmfalken. Not all is as it seems, both in plot and character… Read this and you will be transported in time and place- turning the pages quickly to ensure you get to the rather strange and startling ending- it is worth waiting for!

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Love is the food that nurtures them… When a winged creature is blown into Cassie’s room during a storm, her life changes forever. Village folklore and rumours of the past manifest themselves in this unusual being. What is it? Why has it come? Who does it want? The mysteries of this powerful story are carefully revealed bit by bit in a cleverly crafted plot. Readers are on the adventure with Cassie, never knowing what is coming next – each twist revealed at just the last moment. Set in a 1900 Bavarian forest, Fledgling is a dark, gothic novel that challenges readers to explore the unknown, untapped strength, defeating evil and the power of song. The house is a technological marvel – a “zip” to transport inhabitants right through the middle of the house, a roof that opens so her mother can sing to the heavens, a prophetic owlery and so many secrets. Cassie realises that everything has been created for a purpose – to help her should history every repeat itself. The evil in this story is strong. Cassie and her best friend, Raphael, must discover how to stop it before it destroys everything they are trying to protect. In the process, they discover their true potential and must learn to accept the reality of who they are. Acceptance, honesty and love run through the threads of this intriguing story. When I reached the end of Fledgling, I wanted more. There is so much potential for this to grow into an epic series that explores the meaning of the unusual creatures and what impact they have on the human world. Thank you to Nosy Crow for this gripping story!

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Fledgling is a gorgeously gothic adventure: ethereal, dark, powerful and poignant. It is a story that lingers, that pulsates with a magical quality, and that resonates with hope. Cassie’s home stands atop a tall rock, looking down on the Bratvian Forest and town of Edenburg. She lives there with her mother, a famous opera singer; her father who is a taxidermist; and, her Grandma who is very ill. The relationship between Cassie and her parents, and that between her parents, is a difficult and complicated one. I really enjoyed following the threads into her family history which casts light on the fragility of the familial relationships in the most unexpected ways. During a storm, Cassie opens the window to find a cherub has arrived, someone she needs to keep secret from her family. But the cherub’s presence also heralds the arrival of some terrifying creatures and leads to a series of events that will change Cassie’s life forever … Unable to tell her family about the cherub, she calls upon her best friend, Raphael for help, but Raphael is hiding his own secrets. Will Cassie have the strength and courage to protect her home, her family and her friend? Will she uncover the reason for the arrival of the terrifying storm hawks? Can she prevent history from repeating itself? I really enjoyed the tense, foreboding atmosphere that builds throughout the story. There is a real sense of unease, tinged with darkness and danger that is slowly lifted as shocking secrets are revealed and truths uncovered. I also loved the house with its library, owlery, engine-room and contraptions which form such an integral part of the story. This is a heartachingly stunning adventure that completely and utterly enchanted me. A gorgeous read for a dark wintery evening as the wind rattles at the windows …

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Sweet and magical, a new idea on the subject of angels, creating a wonderful world, and a wonderful story.

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An enjoyably dark tale of angels, family and friendship. I thought this was an imaginative debut with a collection of well developed characters. Cassie herself is a wonderfully resilient character, desperately trying to keep her family and home together and help her dearest friend, Raphael. In a way one of the best characters was the house itself with all it's curious mechanical features, owlery and dark secrets. I did feel that younger readers would find the storm falcons quite scary, they certainly added a feeling of menace that was incredibly effective. There were also a few elements that I thought could have been pulled together or explored better, but overall this was a great debut novel.

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Set in 1900 on the edge of a Bavarian forest where legends abound, Cassie lives in a peculiar house high on a rock overlooking the village with her eccentric, barely functional family and a collection of stuffed owls. She maintains the internal workings of the house, and her only friend is villager Raphael, the kindest person she knows. When a bedraggled feathered creature is blown in through the window in a fierce storm one night, Cassie is pretty certain she knows what it is and sends for Raphael, who agrees with her: it is a cherub. But why has it arrived at Cassie’s house, and what were the huge black birds that appeared from the clouds, apparently in pursuit? Together they nurture the cherub, and begin research in her grandfather’s library, uncovering tragic stories of Cassie’s ancestors, strange events in the owl room and wounds to Raphael’s back that reinforce the rumours of his origins, first put forward by Frau Fischer in the forest… Resourceful, caring and brave, Cassie is a memorable and appealing heroine, and Raphael an ideal friend, calm, kind and nurturing. The menacing mood of the setting created by the description of the storms and the darkness of the forest highlights the vulnerability of the house, perched high on its rock with its roof that opens to the sky and the creaking machinery within. This is an intriguing and enthralling novel with an engaging narrator whose resilience in the face of adversity has the reader rooting for her all the way.

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This is such a wonderful read, and I would love this book to be illustrated as the house and location that Cassie lives in just absolutely enthralled me - I’d love to see it on paper! The story is also excellent, Lucy’s descriptions were able to transport me right into it, and I was completely swept away - it’s funny, scary, and full of love, a strong recommendation from me. My thanks to Netgalley and Nosy Crow for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review

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A dark and gothic adventure set deep in the Bavarian Forest, with owls and magic and a boy who isn't all that he seems to be. This first sentence of the book blurb along with the beautiful cover drew me in and I couldn't wait to get started on this debut from Lucy Hope. It didn't disappoint. We meet Cassie in the year 1900 who lives on the edge of the Bavarian forest. It is during a storm that a cherub flies into Cassie's room and this begins the mysteries that shape and transform her life. This book is wonderfully written and something I would have thoroughly enjoyed as a young reader, although in saying that, I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult too. There's a sense of unease and darkness throughout the story but the thread of hope brought by Cassie and the cherub was marvellous and the writing superb. It is up to Cassie to unravel the mysteries and I enjoyed being brought along for the ride. The setting for the story brings in a whole host of gothic elements and I would highly recommend this book to readers aged 10 and upwards.

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Set in a Bavarian forest during 1900, this story is full of beautiful, lyrical writing that is really powerful and evocative. I found myself pulled in from the first lines desperate to read on and find out where the story would take me. After a cherub flies through Cassie’s window, it brings a surge of chaos with it, and triggering a series of unsettling events. Cassie is scared but she needs to find her inner strength and bravery if she wants to keep her friend and family safe against evil. Their lives will be changed forever in this creepy and intriguing tale. This is a thrilling and atmospheric gothic adventure, that gives me a classic fairy tale vibes. There’s a fantastic cast, with angels, owls, Cassie, her family, including an opera singing mother, a taxidermist father and best friend, Raphael, whose friendship is sure to be engaging and relatable for readers. Perfect for readers who love stories with themes of family and friendship, and of magic, myths and superstition.

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Fledgling is a magical gem of a book that had me hooked from the very first chapter. Lucy Hope’s new gothic tale takes place in Bavaria in 1900 and it tells the story of Cassie Engel who has grown up in an extraordinary castle that sits high above a forest. Built generations earlier the castle is full of secrets that slowly begin to reveal themselves after a cherub flies in through Cassie’s bedroom window on a dramatic and stormy night. The arrival of the cherub marks the beginning of an adventure for Cassie and her friend Raphael who quickly begin to realise that something supernatural threatens the castle and those who live there. As Cassie tries to hide the truth from her parents, and to protect those she loves, she finds herself in increasingly dangerous circumstances. Hope has written a book that is mysterious, gripping and exciting. Her lead characters are engaging and relatable. Their fears, hopes and frustrations play out through scenes that are both frightening and at times very emotional. This is a gorgeous, modern, gothic novel that is packed with mystery and will enchant middle grade readers and adults alike.

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I was immediately drawn in by the front cover., and intrigued by the title. It did not disappoint.. Set in the Bavarian Forest in 1900, this is a highly original fantasy with plenty of intrigue and adventure. Meet Cassie, who lives with her mad alcoholic mother (a talented musician),,critically ill grandma, and traumatised farther., and supported by her friend Raphael (who has his own secrets). She lives on a ridge in the most extraordinary of houses.. Which are also home to her great grandfather's stuffed Owl collection. One day a Cherub blows in her window in a storm. She could not have possibly imagined what this would unravel. With mysteries to solve with the help of ancient texts in the house library, daring journeys in the forest, messages from the past and the ever present threat of evil giant black birds, this is not for the faint hearted. Children and teens less experienced with the diversity of the fantasy genre may benefit from being read the first 8 chapters (they are quite short). This is an exceptionally well written story, but as is often the case with the very best fantasy there is alot at first to get your head round. But, once you have done so you are in for an amazing journey, with plenty of twists and turns and tension.

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I loved this book! This is a wonderfully gothic-fantasy Middle-Grade tale for all ages. Cassie Engel's life is turned upside down when a cherub is blown into her bedroom during a storm, and with the help of her friend Gabriel, it's up to her to discover what danger is gathering in the dark. The action kicks off right from the very start, and the story doesn't let up throughout. I picked this one up for the setting and plot, and stayed for the characters. They were fully fleshed out, and so well developed. I adored going on this adventure with them, and they touched my heart. This is a poignant tale of family and friendship, of bravery and of loss. What a treasure of a book, I highly recommend. This was my first book from this author, but I will be looking out for what they write next. Thanks so much to Nosy Crow for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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This book is beautiful, and a little bit strange - which is how I like my books. A hint of Skellig and fairytales, and often darkly gothic. A great read.

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She was tiny. She had wings. Her arrival was the start of everything. A dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with angels and owls and magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems to be… A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events. Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister. With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect all that she holds dear? This was my second middle grade read of the month and I absolutely loved it. I saw this book on @netgalley and was really taken in by the title and the front cover and couldn’t wait to read it. I was not disappointed. It is a beautiful gothic fairytale full of mystery and magic. It had me gripped from the start and I couldn’t put it down. The story was pacey and exciting and had a cliffhanger at the end of almost every chapter (which I loved!) The descriptions in the story are absolutely beautiful and so vivid, I felt as if I was walking the story with the characters at every moment. The story was intriguing and I loved the main characters - they were all written so well. The Crunch and Grind were my favourites! It has an age recommendation of 9-12 and I would say it’s more towards the top range of that age group as there were some dark and scary moments in it but it was thoroughly enjoyable. You HAVE to read this book!

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