The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do: when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands.
But it’s hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse. What’s making those terrifying screeches and groans at night? Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own? And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear?
Kat believes she knows the answer: Lady Eleanor, who rules Rookskill Castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must uncover the truth about what the castle actually harbors—and who Lady Eleanor really is—before it's too late.
THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE is an engrossing and powerful read. Janet Fox masters the setting of an eerie castle and crafts an even eerier head of the castle, Lady Eleanor. The descriptions of the castle are just enough to give excellent visuals while also leaving enough open for the reader to add their own imagination. The story toes the line between suspense and horror, and readers should be well prepared for some spine chilling moments. However, underneath the scary parts lies a truly sad and unexpected background of the castle that plucks at more than a few heart strings.
The cast of characters shines, especially Kat. Each child must face their own fears as they discover more clues about the castle, and readers will root for them the entire time. The other classmates that Kat meets are easily distinctive, and Fox does a fantastic job of not throwing too many characters at the reader at once. Though all the children have different (and often conflicting) personalities, teamwork emerges as a crucial method of survival while at the castle.
Readers looking for an atmospheric novel of intrigue, danger, and a haunting chill will devour THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE.