The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair

Natasha Hastings, illustrated by Alex T. Smith

This stunning debut novel artfully combines historical fact with a delicious blend of magical fantasy.

The story is set in London at the time of the 1683 Frost Fair and involves twin sweetmakers, Thomasina and Arthur Burgess. Very quickly tragedy strikes as Arthur dies from an asthma attack brought on by the cold. Distraught and wracked with guilt, Thomasina is bewitched by a strange man, Inigo, who introduces her to The Other Frost Fair with a promise to return Arthur to her. Alongside her new friends, Anne and Henry, Thomasina becomes entangled in deception and disguise as they try to discover who Inigo really is and if Arthur can really be brought back to life. Meanwhile, strange snowflake marks are beginning to cover Thomasina’s body. The interweaving of fact and fiction together with wonderful icy imagery layered with contemporary themes of grief and friendship make this a perfect winter-read and a superb introduction to historical fiction for middle-grade readers. Highly recommended!

Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books (448 pages)

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton