'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 16 April 2020

Review: The Golden Cage

Flemish artist, Carll Cneut’s exquisite and luxurious artwork is nothing less than spectacular. It’s to this I draw the reader’s attention first. This is one of the most visually outstanding books that I have had the pleasure to review.

It tells the story of Valentina, an over-indulged, unhappy, dissatisfied nine year old daughter of an emperor, who seeks the talking bird of her dream to fill her empty golden cage.

Her existing collection of exotic birds from around the world has come at an extraordinary price.
Whichever servant fails to bring the bird she commands they find, has their lives ended in the most traumatic way. Known as the Blood Princess, her selfishness becomes her downfall.

A young person arrives, claiming to have the answer to her longing. He extracts an unalterable promise from her. There is no other ending for Valentina than the one that awaits her.

The Golden Cage, or The True Story of the Blood Princess, is a European fairytale written by Italian author Anna Castagnoli. It was first published in Dutch in 2014, it was translated into English by Laura Watkinson.

Presented in an oversized publication to accommodate the fantastic and elaborate bird images, this book is definitely a collector’s dream.

Dark and mesmerising for a children’s book, I recommend parent discretion regardless of it being a fairytale. Due to the content of the story, I have adjusted the age group for an older audience.

Title: The Golden Cage
Author: Anna Castagnoli
Illustrator: Carll Cneut
Publisher: Book Island, $39.99
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781911496144
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book/Fairytale