The Hollow Bettle: Poisons of Caux (Book 1), Susannah Appelbaum

| 12 September , 2010 | Reply

Tina Gamble

Welcome to the Kingdom of Caux. A land where the law is poison or be poisoned, where you\’ll never know if your next meal will possibly be your last. Where friends and foe blur the line, and corruption seems the only way forward.

It is in these times that 11-year-old Ivy Manx sets out on an adventure to find her missing uncle. Travelling through the Kingdom of Caux, Ivy is joined by a young inexperienced Guild taster, Rowan. Together, and on a mission, they soon find themselves pursued, but what could their pursuers possibly want?

Could it be Ivy\’s crimson bettle, the mysterious elixir she created or possibly Ivy herself?

Susannah Appelbaum\’s first book in the Poisons of Caux series, The Hollow Bettle, is an action packed, fast paced novel, told in very a unique voice that will grasp many young reader\’s attention and draw them into the fantasy world of Caux.

With interesting characters, and a world full of mischief and wicked intentions, Appelbaum\’s novel is an entertaining read, about a truly wondrous place. There are added pictures included throughout the novel that really help to capture the characters, the inventions and the whole atmosphere of the novel.

The only thing I\’ll really comment on is her prose or writing style. It is a different style of writing that many people will either love or hate. I personally liked it, but at times it did feel a little like it was going back and forth a bit in the one sentence, and I will say it does take a little getting used to. But once you\’ve grasped the concept, you can really sink into the novel, and as I progressed, I found it just became how the story was, and it really didn\’t matter, in fact it made the story just that little bit more interesting and different.

But it\’s all about personal reading preferences, so those adventurous readers or if you\’re a fantasy fan; give this a go, and for others still thinking about it, perhaps head into your local bookstore, and read a couple of chapters. Though a couple of chapters won\’t give you much of the story as a whole, you will get a sense of the style and perhaps you may even find yourself hooked.

In The Hollow Bettle, Appelbaum has crafted a magical world, which will draw on young reader\’s imaginations and allow them to visit a world very different to our own. This story is a constant adventure, and Ivy and Rowan meet plenty of new friends and foes as they traipse across the Kingdom of Caux. This novel will appeal to many fantasy and YA readers alike, and is great for those readers, who like classic themes, with strong twists that keep you engaged and in constant wonder.

A good start to an exciting new series, The Hollow Bettle is an action packed journey.

Available now: Random House RRP$12.95


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