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.
A mournful blend of historical fiction and frigid fantasy characterizes Hastings's debut, set in late-17th-century London. Blaming herself for the incident that killed her asthmatic twin Arthur four years earlier, Thomasina Burgess all but runs her family's sweets shop, testing out inventive recipes while her father avoids her and her grief-stricken mother remains in bed. After the Thames freezes over and city vendors, including the sweets shop, set up a Frost Fair on its icy surface, a will-o'-the-wisp lures the lonely 13-year-old to mysterious, "blue-tinged" Inigo, who offers to bring her brother back to life if she agrees to terms: give up her memories of Arthur, and accompany Inigo four times to the Other Frost Fair, "created from magic and sea smoke." As her memories of Arthur begin to fade and she encounters the alternate fair, populated by people made of ice and ruled over by sinister Father Winter, Thomasina begins noticing snowflake marks on her skin, and wonders about the bargain's stakes. Though magic-related worldbuilding can slow the book's pace, crystalline prose deftly conjures the protagonist's guilt-laden internality alongside historical topics, including views on, and treatment of, mental health. Most characters cue as white. Ages 8-12. Agent: Chloe Seager, Madeleine Milburn. (Nov.)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.