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

Monday 19 April 2021

Review: The Golden Tower

Belinda Murrell draws on her extensive travel, research, and rich life experiences to create a magical, mythological and mysterious landscape. This multi-layered adventure calls attention to the hidden and untapped strength in all of us.

Sophie believes she is not brave, and has few skills compared to the shining light that is her brother Archie. Nanna believes she is artistic, curious and imaginative. While staying with Nanna in England, they trek through some Roman ruins of a villa overlooking the river. Sophie learns about its history and the magical place where the ley lines cross to become a gateway to another world.

Sophie returns alone the next day hoping to find something valuable. All she finds is a ginger cat. Rain forces the girl and cat to shelter in the cleft of a rock, into which the cat disappears.

Following it, Sophie finds herself in Tuscia, an ancient, magical fairytale city of flying golden horses, centaurs and mazzamurelli. Four children appear; two sisters – Bia and Isabella, and their cousins, Leo and Nicco.

When Sophie saves Bia from a wild boar, she is taken by the children to their castle where they live with Nonna.

No sooner has Sophie settled in, that Ginevre, the stepmother the four children have never met, arrives to take them back to their father and the Palazzo de Fiori. Nonna insists that Sophie accompany the children, for she believes that Sophie’s purpose for arriving in Tuscia is to keep the girls safe. But from whom?

Sophie accompanies the children on their journey, along with Baccio the talking ginger cat who has reappeared, and Lupo, Bia’s dog.

The timid and fearsome Sophie enters a world of challenges, secrets, magic and revelations. She is tested many times, but perseveres, wrestling with countless decisions she must make. Slowly, she uncovers the true identity of Ginevre, and the reason for her lust for power and misuse of magic.

But can she find the opening in the rock that will return her to Nanna or will she remain in Tuscia forever with her new friends?

Fast-paced, with glorious descriptions, exciting adventures through a time slip, and new friendships, The Golden Tower creates a powerful reading experience while proving to children they are more than they know, and capable of achieving great things.

Title: The Golden Tower
Author: Belinda Murrell
Publisher: Penguin, $ 16.99
Publication Date: 2 March 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 97817608970093
For ages: 8+
Type: Middle Grade Fiction