“My name is Annie Cotterill and I’m twelve years old. It is the first month of the Year 1899 and I’m on my way to the train station with my brother Tom and his sweetheart, Lucy. Tom has his bag of money, Lucy has a bundle of clothes and I have something in my pocket that just might make my fortune. We’re about to start a new life. Again.”
When Annie Cotterill moves to Hexer Hall to be closer to her brother, little does she know that the mysterious Lady Hexer has plans for her. Annie is Lady Hexer’s key to the past, where she needs to go to find out the truth about her ancestors and the rumours that surround her family. Annie is transported back to the 11th century, where an evil doctor is testing new procedures on patients in his leper hospital. Annie must find his book of cures and get them back to Lady Hexer, without getting herself killed in the process.
With a love of historical fiction and an air of intrigue about time travel I was always going to want to read The Serpent House. Now that I’ve read it I can definitely say it meet my expectations for both interests and I loved every second.
There was a genie fear within the book with characters you weren’t sure to trust and things going on that you were never really sure of. I liked Annie and felt a bit sorry for her throughout the book as Lady Hexer was quite obviously using her power over Annie, and Tom, to get her to do stuff. I loved Meg and the musician from the 11th century and I really liked the time Annie spent there because of the friendship she builds up with Meg.
The book was quite mature for what I believed to be a middle grade piece of fiction. The parts in the 11th century really were quite scary in places and the ideas expressed in the 1889 parts by the villagers and the maids etc read a little older than I thought too so i doubt I’d recommend this for anyone young than around 11, unless they had really far advanced reading skills. Also I found it really interesting that this is a historical fiction
I think one of the things I loved the most was the synchronicity between the two time frames and how things that were happening in the 11th century effected the 19th, it was cleverly done and I really did love that whole thing, but that came about towards the very end of the book. I thought the story did go a little slow in the middle and could have done with more excitement but the end really made up for it and overall I really did enjoy reading The Serpent House, I will be on the look out for more from Bea Davenport too!
The Serpent House was published on June 5th by Curious Fox. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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