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Book Review: The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour

My dear bookish friends,

With the temperatures dropping and the days getting shorter, who doesn’t want to curl up with a nice book? Well, if you are looking for a wintry tale, I got just THE book for you!

A huge thank you to TheWriteReads, Harper Collins, and the author for my spot on this blogtour, as well as my ecopy (neither of which influenced my review in any way).

The Blurb

A heartwarming and magical adventure, The Frost Fair is a dazzling historical fantasy perfect for fans of Frozen and Serafina and the Black Cloak.

It’s winter, 1683, and the Great Frost has swept into London.

By day, thirteen-year-old Thomasina and her friend Anne peddle sweets on the frozen river, hearing rumors of the magical Frost Fair that awakens there at night. They say if you can find it, Father Winter himself will grant any wish you have.

And Thomasina has an impossible wish: the return of her twin brother, whose death left her family fractured.

But once they discover Father Winter’s icy kingdom, Thomasina and Anne quickly realize the Frost Fair isn’t exactly what it seems… and that some wishes never come for free.

With a delightful fantasy setting and unique magic system, The Frost Fair is an enchanting look at the power of friendship, the way grief shapes all of us, and how love can warm even the coldest heart.

My Review

Blending adventure, fantasy and historical fiction, the wintry tale of The Miraculous Sweetmakers will be sure to entertain you this winter season!

Thomasina has lost her twin brother Arthur to a tragic accident when they were younger, and blames herself for his death ever since. Since then, nothing has ever been the same, and Thomasina wishes nothing more than to get him back. Her parents aren’t really the parental figures she should have around as a stable family, ignoring her for the most part or dealing with their own problems more. Arthur’s death has truly taken a toll on their whole family, with her father growing more and more distant and cold, and her mother suffering a mental breakdown.

That’s why Thomasina has to grow up ahead of her time and take over many jobs and duties that would normally befall her parents – while even taking care of her mother at the same time (who suffers from depression). But that is not all: 13-year old Thomasina also has to make the sweets for her family’s sweets shop! Quite a heavy burden for such a young girl.

Just when Thomasina is on the verge of losing all hope for a better future, she is granted a incredible magical wish – and one she has been holding for so many years: to get her brother back! While it seems too good to be true, Thomasina would do everything to get her beloved brother back (and with it, fix all their family’s problems). However, as all the fairytales say, a wish always comes with conditions…

Soon, Thomasina realises that everything is too good to be true after all…Can she find a way out of this mess?

There were so many things I loved in this book! The wintry setting of London in the mid-1700s, the sweets-shop atmosphere, the magical elements, but also the deep and emotional aspects. I also loved Anne and Thomasina’s friendship – as well as how important her family was for Thomasina. She is such a strong character – even when all the odds were against her she didn’t give up and she was brave enough to make some very hard decisions in order to save everyone she cares so deeply about.

Anne and Thomasina are such a powerful duo; together they are strong, brave, and very smart, even coming up with their own business idea to combine both of their talents! I kind of got some Anna and Elsa vibes from this (together with the wintry theme overall), and while I’m not the biggest fan of the movie Frozen, I did love this book a lot!

Despite the nice things though, there are also tragic and very sad elements to this story – as well as some very dark fantastical elements which is why, despite the rather fun and colourful looking cover, I wouldn’t recommend this book to too young readers.

I loved the juxtaposition of the two fairs taking place on the frozen river Thames: the normal one during the day, and the darker, stranger, yet still also magical other frost fair at night. At first, Thomasina is overwhelmed by all that she sees and hears, but soon she grows vary of Father Winter, a strange character she can’t quite read. Together with Anne and another unlikely friend, they soon find themselves fighting much darker monsters that they were ever expecting – and try to save all of London from imminent danger!

Something else I absolutely loved here was the disability representation. Not only do we see mental illness represented in a book for children and in such a setting, asthma is also being represented and I think it has been very well done. I myself have been suffering from asthma since my early childhood and I don’t think I have ever come across a book where this has been a theme, so that was really nice to see (even though what happened here was really sad).

I hope in the next book we will learn more about the lovely and very likeable character Anna – I’m very curious about her background! I for myself can say I really loved this book – despite all the sad elements of loss and grief, it managed to portray a story of hope, and we take away that even when things seem bleak and hopeless, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The author did a great job of bringing that across!

If you are looking for a magical tale to keep you warm and entertained this winter season, The Miraculous Sweetmakers is the book for you!

5 stars from me!

Thank you all so much for reading!


P.S. This has probably one of my most favourite covers to work with for the tour banner – all the wintry elements, the colours and the theme overall, so beautiful!!

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