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

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Junior Review: Orla and The Serpent's Curse

Orla Perry’s family holiday had turned from a beach vacation in Cornwall to a mystery waiting to be solved. 

The wildlife in Cornwall has disappeared, the forests seem to be watching her and why was there a hooded figure outside their cottage on their first night there?

Orla needs to know what is going on. After finding a necklace in an oak tree that fell by the nearby stream, she begins to dream about a single crow with an urgent message about a young peller called Pedervander Mazey who died centuries ago. (A peller is a witch that can defeat dark magic).

But why is Orla having these imaginings? How is the necklace she found, the Nagasalohita, related to an evil witch or Peller’s curse?

Orla knows there is something otherworldly going on and there is a mystery to solve and fast, by the end of the week in fact. 

When an evil force is trying to steal the Nagasalohita she finally realises something serious is going on and hides , guarded by her Malasana (an enchanted doll that wards off evil spirits). Orla also needs the help of Dave the dog, Raven and her fellow pellers Mrs. Perran, Ms. Teague and Mrs. Spark as well as her siblings, to banish the evil in Cornwall.

I loved the extreme vibe in the book and unlike most books I read, I did not see the twist coming! (I will not say what the twist is for obvious reasons). The author wrote the book very well and I really enjoyed it. It was as if I was one of the characters myself and Orla was an enjoyable character that I can relate to. My favourite bit about the book was seeing Orla going through the necessary changes a twelve-year-old hero goes through. 

I recommend this book for ages 10+ because of the scenes of death and violence. I believe older ages will enjoy this story, and I guarantee that fantasy, mystery and adventure fans will certainly love this book.

Title: Orla and The Serpent's Curse
Author: C J Haslam
Illustrator: Paddy Donnelly
Publisher: Walker Books, $14.99
Publication Date: June 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406388480
For ages: 10+
Type: Junior Fiction Older Readers