In this blog, I am going to review a book that I have been enjoying during the pandemic called "Serafina and the Black Cloak"by Robert Beatty. I first read this book just before my family took a tour of the Biltmore Estate in 2017, and I recently decided to pick it up again. I think that this book would be a great read for people who love mystery and adventure. I also highly recommend this book for people who are wanting go to the Biltmore or have already gone there because it's set on the grounds of the Estate in Asheville, NC.
In the book, the main character, named Serafina, is a very strange person. She has no mother or origin, just her "Pa". She looks strange too, always wearing a raggedy outfit, amber eyes, four toes on each foot, and even more odd features. She's also a great hunter which comes up a lot in the book. While she spies on residents of the Biltmore by day, she catches rats by night. The last strange thing about her is she secretly lives in the basement of the Biltmore since her Pa started working there as a mechanic .
The story takes off one night, when she's sneaking around in the Biltmore and hears someone walking around who sounded unfamiliar to her. She also thought that she heard someone being dragged (which is definitely unusual). When Serafina peeked around the corner to see what was happening, she saw a girl being pulled by someone in a black cloak. As Serafina watched, the girl breaks free from the man's clutches and runs. Soon, the figure has the girl trapped again. Then, Serafina realizes that the cloaked man was trying to kill the girl! Serafina goes to attack the figure, but is surprised when the cloak starts to levitate off of his back! The cloak starts to wrap around the girl, and makes her vanish into thin air! When the man in the black cloak sees Serafina standing there, he prepares to ensnare her too...
I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars because I thought it was a thrilling and adventurous tale from start to end. I really enjoyed how it ties all the oddities about Serafina's look and personality together in the end. I also liked how the book leads you to question who the cloaked figure really is until the story finally reveals it.
This book was also very easy for me to imagine the setting while reading because it takes place in a spot I have been in before. So, when I read it, it brings back many memories from my trip to the Biltmore that I had forgotten!
After I was done with the book, I immediately got excited at the thought of reading it again, so hopefully you will feel the same when you read it!