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

Monday 6 May 2024

Review: Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit

In Shelwich, the tide has gifted tide-blessings to practically everyone in varying forms.

Ista Flit’s gift is the ability to take on the appearance of any person she has seen, amongst other things.

Her Pa had left Aunt Abigail’s house and come to Shelwich to work and buy a flat for them to live together.

When his clarinet is delivered to Ista at her aunt’s place with a letter, she learns that he has disappeared.

Ista leaves secretly and arrives in Shelwich to try and find him.

The sinister Alexo Rokis, fox-faced and wolf-eyed, on her arrival, steals the clarinet, the only thing left of her father, and holds it to ransom, forcing Ista to steal for him. The deal is twenty errands for the return of the clarinet and freedom from his power over her.

Forced to obey him, he sends her to the town’s restaurant, where a kitchen helper is needed.It becomes a home and to the owners, Padley and Giddon, she becomes family. From that base, she begins a journey of many faces to find her pa.

Too soon, Ista discovers that others are vanishing too. She is at errand number nineteen.

When power is a thing that many are desperate to get hold of, they will do anything to attain it.

She befriends the clever and observant Nat untouched by magic, who shows her how to examine things differently, and Ruby, whose sister Saf has also vanished.

They become investigative partners in the search for answers. Together, they uncover many mysteries, battle through threatening situations and dangers, and unmask those who are not what they pretend to be.

This is a fantastic read with stand-out characters, settings, adventure, action, and monsters in constant play. Sizzling prose and metaphors become images that fully engage the reader. Lots of unknowns lurk behind the scenes.

Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit, is a debut novel and one of a three-book deal by this unique writing voice.

Title: Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit
Author: Clare Harlow
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $17.99
Publication Date: 14 May 2024
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780593806746
For ages: 10 – 14
Type: Middle Grade Fiction