Author: Katharine Orton
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Published: 5th November 2020
Synopsis: An enchanting magical adventure set in the wild moors of Dartmoor – the second middle-grade novel from the bestselling Katharine Orton.
Through the glass, the magic is waiting… Nona and her uncle travel everywhere together, replacing stained-glass windows in war-torn buildings. When a mysterious commission takes them to the lonely moors of Dartmoor, Nona discovers a wild and powerful magic which threatens everything. Can Nona protect those she loves – even if it means fighting darkness itself? A beautifully imaginative and rich adventure about determination, courage and the power of love, set in the aftermath of World War Two. Perfect for fans of Abi Elphinstone, Sophie Anderson and Catherine Doyle.
- “This is fantasy at its best.” The Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
- Set in the lonely wilds of Dartmoor after WW2, this is atmospheric fantasy at its very best, exploring a moment of British history not often told, and weaving it with magic, folklore and mystery.
- With a gorgeous cover design by Sandra Dieckmann, illustrator of Nevertell, ensuring Katharine’s second book is just as irresistible!
Nona has survived the Blitz at age seven and lost her entire family. She’s lived in the country with Uncle Antoni since then, a veteran of war. They both have scars – physical and emotional that they are trying to deal with. Nona wants to talk about it, Uncle Antoni doesn’t – but Nona isn’t sure why. Together, they travel around in post-war England repairing windows and glass. Yet Nona is haunted by the night her home and family were destroyed in the Blitz and has a half-heart shaped piece of glass from her home that gives her vivid dreams, and a connection to another world.
She is terrified of the glass her uncle repairs – handling it reminds her of that night during the Blitz. War-torn England is ever present in this novel, even as Nona travels to a different realm for a quest to stop the Soldier. Both wars of the first half of the twentieth century echo and vibrate throughout this novel, eerily and poignantly. It is part of the shared history of the characters – Nona, Uncle Antoni, the ghosts, the Soldier, Serafin and Alesea. They have all seen physical war, and all fight personal wars within themselves. To fight these battles, they will need to band together in an unconventional way, to defeat an enemy who could harm them all.
As the novel progresses, Nona’s experiences are teased out as she’s revisited by ghosts and memories. These powerful threads are pulled and tugged throughout as Nona explores the world behind the glass, and beyond what she knows to find out why she survived the Blitz, and why she has the visions she has. This book is beautiful and heartbreaking, but also hopeful. It shows the power of community, and the power of belief. And it shows that family is sometimes what we make of it, not always those we are born to. The role of family and love in this book is powerful, and the acceptance of magic creates a world that is borh familiar and unfamiliar with such grace that it makes every emotion you feel as valid as each other.