Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

23507745Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: July 14th 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mystery

Buy: Book Depository


Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.


One thing’s for sure: this book can make an interesting Halloween read for young readers.

The mysterious, elusive, creature-ish, cloaked man who kidnaps children terrifies Serafina and her new friend. But Sera is courageous, so she will find the missing children and bring back order to Biltmore!

Or die trying.

It took me a good while to get into this book. The writing is rather dry, especially at first, when so many descriptions are made about Biltmore and its residents and nothing of grand interest has happened yet.

But as the story progresses, we become more attached to Sera and her new friend, Breaden. Sera is a critical thinker. I love that so much about her. She questions. She thinks. She finds solutions. She understands. She questions again.

Sadly though, there aren’t a whole lot of characters to love, but they all tug at our curiosity, making this a pleasant read, all in all.

I’m happy to hear that this has a sequel, because there’s a lot left to discover about Sera and her world.

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