The Miraculous Sweetmakers #1: The Frost Fair

The Miraculous Sweetmakers #1: The Frost Fair
Age Range
8+
Release Date
November 01, 2022
ISBN
978-0063161276
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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.

Editor review

1 review
Walking in a Winter Horror Land
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
In London in the 1683, Thomasina is dealing with the Great Frost that has overtaken London. Her family runs a bakery and sweet shop, but ever since the death of her twin brother Arthur, her mother has been completely out of commission because of grief, and even her family barely acknowledges her existence. When a strange man, Inigo, appears to her and claims that is she goes to the Frost Fair with him four times and surrenders all of her memories of her brother to him, Thomasina thinks this is a solid plan, even when snowflakes start to appear on her skin, and she sees a number of creepy people with similar skin lurking in the area. Along with her new friend Anne, whose family runs an apothecary, she tries to sell medicinal sweets to improve the income of the shop. When she meets a boy her age who is a descendant of Inigo, she starts to realize that there is something very creepy and possibly nefarious about Inigo's attempts at taking her to the Frost Fair. Will she be able to save her mother... or herself?
Good Points
This has a great cover, and an interesting setting. I was hoping that this would be similar to Hooper's fantastic 2003 At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. The idea of a sweet shop combining with an apothecary is great, and Thomasina and Anne are great characters. The book moved along quickly and was pretty scary at times.

The historic sometimes seemed half a bubble off, but that's very common. Most women during this time period would have lost at least one child; Thomasina's mother would not have had the luxury of not getting out of bed. Since this is very different today, it's not surprising that modern sensibilities creep in. It was to see Anne portrayed as a person of color.

This was really more of a horror book than a history or fantasy novel, which surprised me a little until I remembered books like Harvey's 2014 A Breath of Frost or Fisher's 2020 A Clockwork Crow which also turned a historical winter setting into a rather scary book. This put me in mind a bit of Jinks' How to Catch a Bogle, as well. Think of Dickens' A Christmas Carol; there's a really dark undercurrent in the frosty air of a London winter!
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