She had never been able to square why most folk carried a lantern in the dark, or why they made so much noise when they walked, or what compelled them to sleep through the night just when all manner of things were at their most beautiful.

-Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Twisted Staff  (Goodreads) is the follow up to Serafina and the Black Cloak, a, as-of-writing, four book series about a young girl living in the shadows of the (actual true place that actually, truly exists) Biltmore Estate as their guardian and protector in the late 1800s.

Beatty’s precise control of harsh, dark language in a middle-grade horror/suspense story is masterful. Even now, in the second volume, Beatty never once makes the story drag as he waxes poetic about the beauty of the night or the rushing emotions Serafina feels as she hunts rats in the forest or evades the mad wolfhounds of a potential new enemy. Everything flies along for an exciting read.

I read the first book close to 3 years ago. I felt bad it took me so long to get around to the second installment, because I’m loving every page.

He just published the fourth this past summer, Serafina and the Seven Stars.

Thanks for reading,

Follow me:

Twitter: @robacosta

Instagram: @probacosta