Adventures of Beatrice

The Lost Starling

Children - Adventure
278 Pages
Reviewed on 05/01/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is an epic fantasy adventure novel for children and preteens written by H.C. Herman. Beatrice’s life was a drab one, at least that portion of the life she spent at home with the Foster Monster, Sophie. Beatrice was an orphan, and for some reason, Sophie had decided to give her a home. Home was putting a rather severe spin on it. however, as Beatrice was little more than a char for the witchlike woman with the chocolate hair and the crooked nose. Outside, things were very different. Beatrice had a best friend Tommy, whom she’d known since they were both infants. And there was also Megan. The three of them were constant companions and partners in the kind of mischief that only twelve-year-olds can get into. Beatrice loved them dearly, yet she couldn’t help but wonder about her own parents. Then she noticed a scrap of burnt paper in the fireplace on Sophie’s side of the house. That fragment of a letter galvanized her and from then on, things got even more interesting.

H.C. Herman’s epic fantasy adventure novel for children and preteens, Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling, is a stunning and gorgeously written coming-of-age tale about a young girl’s quest to find her family and rescue their world. Herman peoples Beatrice’s surroundings with all manner of beings, including a most helpful furry black spider and an awful and mischievous leprechaun whose sole purpose seems to be getting Beatrice into trouble with the Foster Monster. Epic fantasy readers of all ages should consider giving this modern retelling of the quest fantasy a try -- it gave me shivers as I read. Herman’s characters are credible and finely crafted, and her plot is elaborate, sinuous and a lot of fun to follow along. Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is most highly recommended.

Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer)

Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling by H.C. Herman is a fantasy novel about a twelve-year-old girl named Beatrice. One day, as she's sneaking out of her foster home, she finds an almost entirely burnt letter. While most of it is unreadable, Beatrice can tell it’s about her, and it came from a king and queen she'd never heard of before. The letter sends Beatrice on a journey to discover who she really is. She soon learns she's from a different world called Nightingale, which is threatened by someone who banished her as a baby. She finds out she is the only person who can save Nightingale, but no one will let her even go there, except for one woman. But can she be trusted?

I really enjoyed reading Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling by H.C. Herman. The book is well written and very descriptive. The book effortlessly puts mythical creatures into a real-world setting. The world of Nightingale is very well created, and readers will want to believe it exists. The characters are very realistic and likable. The story is thrilling and interesting and is sure to make the reader want to keep reading. I was hooked by the first page and I never wanted to put the book down. The story is full of suspense, and I really liked that there were scenes indicating the other characters knew something Beatrice did not. I really liked that the ending was happy, but also left me wondering what was next for Beatrice. I would definitely recommend Adventures of Beatrice to all readers.

K.C. Finn

Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is a work of adventure fiction written for children, and penned by author H. C. Herman. Focused on the title character at the formative age of twelve, Beatrice is a foster child who knows little of her true heritage and the powers that she might secretly have. A single discovery in a remnant of a letter sends her on a journey of self-exploration, where Beatrice discovers that she is half Starling: a faerie creature from the magical world of Nightingale. The world from which she once came is in danger, and the more Beatrice learns about the truth of herself, the more inspired she becomes to save this world.

Author H. C. Herman has delivered a beautiful and immersive fairy tale that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, perhaps with a parent to read along for the younger ones. Middle-grade readers will delight in meeting Beatrice, knowing all her quirks and watching her grow in strength as she gets a better sense of who she is and what her purpose might be as she grows up in two very different worlds. There’s a beautiful escapist quality to the prose which keeps it light and magical, and the world of Nightingale encompasses many classic elements of tales of the fey people but also presents something really new and fresh in the process. Overall, Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is a well-written adventure with plenty of mystery, magic, and heart for its audience to enjoy.

Ruffina Oserio

Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling by H.C. Herman is a beautiful mix of fantasy and adventure. Twelve-year-old Beatrice had never known her roots. She had always thought of herself as one of those unfortunate enough to wind up in the foster system. But she accidentally stumbles on the truth in a burnt letter with just a few surviving words, and it reveals that she is far from being what they have always made her believe. In fact, she is not really human. She is half human, half Starling, the Starling being the beautiful faeries of the world called Nightingale. But this world is under serious threat from an evil Starling called Sevin, the same one who exiled Beatrice from birth. Now with the aid of some few friends, Beatrice sets out on a dangerous adventure to redeem her world, contrary to the advice of her guardians.

This is a thrilling adventure with wonderful characters. It begins with a strong premise. A young girl whose world is suddenly turned topsy-turvy by a mind-blowing discovery. The thought that she is a creature of magic is powerful enough to change the way she feels. But it is troubling to learn that the truth about her roots has been hidden from her all along. The world is filled with imagination and the author makes readers visualize the landscapes and the universe in which Beatrice finds herself. I loved the way the relationships are constructed in this novel and the challenges that Beatrice faces along the way. I fell in love with the author's finesse when it comes to the narrative and the skillful manner in which the author builds the conflict. Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is a page-turner for fans of children's fantasy.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Adventures of Beatrice: The Lost Starling is written by H.C. Herman. Twelve-year-old Beatrice lives with her nasty foster parent, Sophie, who makes her sleep in the dusty, crowded attic, makes her complete long lists of chores every day, and never wants Beatrice to go outside and play with her friends, Tommy and Megan. One day, Beatrice finds a mostly burnt letter in Sophie’s fireplace that mentions her name and a witch’s promises. Suspicious, but certain that this information is somehow linked to her real parents, Beatrice convinces her friends to help her find the witch rumored to live in the woods near their homes. Beatrice makes another pivotal discovery when she finds a locket in the reservoir and a beautiful fairy in Tommy’s garden.

An enchanting adventure in which our world is linked to the world of Talistar, a place populated with magical beings and ruled by the vain usurper, Sevin. Herman’s prose is vivid and well-paced as this novel sucks the reader into a world of fairies, trolls, leprechauns, and a talking spider. While the plot may feel a little familiar at times, Herman maintains high entertainment levels by avoiding all the expected outcomes. This is especially noticeable leading into the conclusion, as shocking secrets are laid bare while the uncertainties of whom Beatrice should trust reach a peak. The darker parts of the story, such as Sevin and his army, strike just the right tone of creepiness while remaining suitable for younger readers. Adventures of Beatrice is a whimsical yet exciting novel that will enchant readers both young and old.