The Missing of Clairdelune is the second instalment in the Mirror Visitor Quartet by French author Christelle Dabos. With comparisons to Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke and J. K. Rowling, the expectations for this series are high and it delivers. Already award winning – the 2016 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire – Roman jeunesse francophoneand internationally bestselling fans have been eagerly awaiting more.
If your older children haven’t yet delved into the remarkable fantasy world of the Mirror Visitor Quartet then you can read about the first book in the series A Winter’s Promise here.
Ophelia is the heroine of the series and after the upheaval of her life in the first book she returns in The Missing of Claredelune and is rapidly promoted to the position of Vice-Storyteller. Farouk, the half human and half divine figure that is the ancestral spirit who rules over the Pole has offered protection to Ophelia and in return she must tell a story to him every night. In this alternate world the ancestral spirit is akin to God.
Just to give you some background – Ophelia is a Mirror Visitor, which is a rare talent. While she’s clumsy, solitary and reserved, she is also an excellent reader and when she holds on an object, she can access its past and see those who have touched it before.
Thorn, her fiancé has taken her to the Pole in the hopes of using her gift for his own advancement. Isolated from her own people and family, Ophelia is unsure of herself in her new home but she must find a way to see the truth in a world of illusions.
Ophelia is successful in her new position to but it soon appears there is something sinister going on when one influential courtier after another disappears. Ophelia once again finds herself involved in the investigation that follows.
Can Ophelia find out the truth and has she misread Thorn and his intentions?
French author Christelle Dabos, creates complex layered worlds, and an enthralling and intricate plot that moves at a fast pace with lots of twists. Readers have been completely drawn in by this richly imagined universe of the arks: floating celestial islands governed by the spirits of immortal ancestors.
With themes of loyalty, duty and independence this magical world is filled with treachery but it also holds hope. While fantasy and written for a 13+ audience, it’s also a coming of age story, similar to Harry Potter and will appeal to all ages.
Christelle Dabos was born on the Côte d’Azur in 1980 and grew up in a home filled with classical music and historical games. She now lives in Belgium. The Mirror Visitor, her debut series, won the Gallimard Jeunesse-RTL-Télérama First Novel Competition.
Translator Hildegarde Serle lives in London, but her heart still lives on the Quai aux Fleurs in Paris.