Invisible In A Bright Light
Mr B's review
Opening night. 1870. The Royal Opera House in the freezing city of C-. For Celeste, abandoned outside as a baby many years earlier, the Opera House is all she has known. When a strange dream turns reality on its head, Celeste finds herself inside ‘The Reckoning’ – a dangerous game where she does not know the rules. Inspired by dark fairy tales, this enchanting story will transport you to the gutter of time and keep you hooked until the very end.
An imaginative novel [with] a suspenseful challenge and a vivid backstage world of intrigue and romance … Original and rich’ Sunday Times Book of the Week. From I, Coriander to Invisible in a Bright Light, Sally Gardner’s first middle grade novel in 14 years soars with the imagination of a master story-teller. A pitch-perfect story about a crystal chandelier that splinters into a thousand pieces, a girl abandoned as a baby on the steps of an opera house and a dangerous game called the Reckoning.
It is 1870: opening night at the Royal Opera House in a freezing city by the sea, where a huge, crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon sparkles magically with the light of 750 candles.
Celeste, a theatre rat, wakes up in a costume basket from what she hopes is a bad dream, to find that everyone at the theatre where she works thinks she is someone else.
When the chandelier falls, she is haunted by a strange girl who claims to know Celeste’s past and why she must risk playing a game called the Reckoning to try to save the people she loves.
‘This is a classic Gardner modern fairy tale, full of fabulous locations and mesmerising characters. lt’s a complicated, layered history tale … but do not underestimate this age group’s intelligence and focus; young book lovers will be as delighted as they are challenged’ Big Issue, Books of the Year 2019.
‘What a majestic conjuration of Middle Grade magic this is – think Alice in Wonderland in a dazzling theatrical setting … Gardner’s cast of larger-than-life characters is vibrantly drawn … This is a dream of a book for confident readers who relish fiction that ignites their imaginations and delight in flexing their cerebral muscles’ LoveReading. ‘Carnegie Medal winner Sally Gardner has a rare ability to build worlds that are rich, strange and totally unique to her … It’s a story that all readers will respond to and will enthral you from beginning to end’ Absolutely South East (and West). ‘The prize-winning Gardner is [a]dab hand at literary world-creation’ Observer. ‘Gardner’s writing is atmospheric, almost cinematic, as the action moves through parallel realities. The story takes time to reveal itself, but it’s absolutely worth it!’ Children’s Books Ireland. ‘Rich and haunting historical fiction with a charismatic female lead’ The Bookseller. ‘Intriguing, haunting and filled with suspense, this story will transport readers right to the gutter of time and back again and is one to recommend to those who love an other-worldly read or who are looking for something a little bit different to get stuck into’ Books for Topics. ‘Gardner’s first Middle Grade novel since the award-wining I, Coriander is sumptuous historical fiction; an elegant, complex novel that keeps readers guessing until the end’ Editor’s Choice review, The Bookseller.
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