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young adult book reviews & more

The Scarlet Stockings: The Enchanted Riddle by Charlotte Kandel

The Scarlet StockingsAbandoned at birth, Daphne was raised in the dreary Orphanage of St. Jude in Hoxton, England. This shy girl has only two aspirations: to find the truth about the family that didn’t want her and to become a prima ballerina. Then one day, as if by magic, Daphne receives a mysterious package containing a book on ballet, a pair of scarlet stockings, and a strange riddle. As if suddenly spurred by this present, Daphne’s life becomes a whirlwind of good fortune, from a kind and caring adoptive family all the way to dancing ballet on the French stage. But Daphne has to be careful, because although her new world is filled with unbelievable excitement and beauty, it also contains loneliness and dangerous rivalry. Daphne will have to find magic, both from the stockings and within herself, to overcome the challenges of the competitive ballet world and finally realize where she belongs.

The Enchanted Riddle is a sweet and heartwarming debut novel. Daphne is such an interesting main character, which made it so easy to get attached to her story. The “unloved orphan with big dreams” scenario is thankfully not overdone and really helps set the scene for many of Daphne’s later exploits. Daphne’s earnestness makes her so lovable as well as sympathy for many of her plights. Kandel did a great job of portraying the competitive entertainment industry of that day, ballet; it wasn’t too romanticized and felt very realistic. I truly loved reading Daphne’s story partly because of how well-sculpted her character was, but mostly because it was just so cute. Daphne’s story is kind of an “old-fashioned” version of those stories of people trying to make it big in the entertainment world in modern day, only with more morality and innocence. The ending felt a little rushed for my taste, but it wrapped up neatly.

The Enchanted Riddle is the perfect antidote for a dreary day. I think this novel was intended for the younger audience but readers older than the middle grade group will also enjoy this sweet story.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from Precedent Media Unlimited

3 munch(es) :

Emily said...

This book looks really cute (:

Lana said...

I'm always on the look-out for more dance books! This looks like a definite addition to the TBR pile.

Carol(ina) said...

Sounds like a great book for my little sis. I'll try to get a copy for her. Oh, and thanks for TDo100D. I read it that same day it came. I'll send it back to you sometime this upcoming week. :)

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