Release Date: August 23, 2012
Source: Won from a giveaway
Source: Won from a giveaway
Rating: 5 Hearts
"Raised in 1820’s India, twelve year old Isabella Rockwell can ride and shoot as well as any of the soldiers in her father’s regiment. These skills, however, are of no use to her when she finds herself on the frozen streets of London, orphaned and alone.
Tormented by guilt over the deaths of those who loved her, she vows never to be responsible for anyone’s life again. If she can scrape together enough money, she will return to India. But Isabella cannot shake the creeping feeling that something is not right; that something threatens not only her new best friend, but the throne of England itself.
Having survived this far on her wits alone, will Isabella escape back home to India? Or will she stay with Alix, a girl whose fate seems to be tied up with Isabella’s own? A fate which will have consequences far beyond those Isabella could ever have imagined.
Winner of the Children’s 12+ Fiction Category at Winchester Writer’s Conference, UK. 2012."
Short and Sweet:
I absolutely adored this! Bursting with beautiful writing and insanely lovable characters, Isabella Rockwell's War is perfect for anyone who enjoys historical middle grade! I desperately want to read more from this author.
When news of her beloved father's death reaches her, Isabella is determined to go find his missing body. Soon after she leaves, she gets more news that the kind woman who was like a mother to her died as well, and Isabella is sent from her home in India to London. There, she lives on the streets until she finds a gang of orphans who share a house. Soon, they become like family to her, but after saving the Princess's life, she will have to figure out where exactly her home is.
Incredible historical detail? Check.
Top notch character development that includes some serious heart-warming scenes? Check.
Really awesome and suspenseful plot line? Check and check.
Isabella is such a great protagonist, and I love, love, love her story. The grief she experiences, the trials she faces, and the home she misses make her into a wonderfully complex character who's just searching for a place to belong again. I love her interactions with Midge, Ruby, and the gang she meets in London and how close they all get. I admit, I was dying for some romance between her and Zach, but 3 or 4 years down the road (since they both are young and kind of have, ya know, a focus on surviving and whatnot) I could see their relationship really sparking.
I also really love the friendship between Alix and Isabella. Alix, who is surrounded by people who want to be her friend for royal benefits and a mother who just wants money, is in desperate need of a real friend. Likewise, Isabella can use someone just like Alix who is the opposite of her in many ways but shares a kind heart. The plot behind the danger Alix is in unfolded so well and was absolutely gripping. I bounced around with who I thought was behind it, but I never suspected the full story of what was really going on.
All in all, this is an excellent story to curl up with and get lost in. I really, really hope that there is more to come, whether it's a sequel to this story, or just another wonderful book from this amazing author.