Or ‘twenty-two’ things to do to a tea towel. That could be by magic or in more traditional ways. The tea towels in Michelle Lovric’s new book are both useful and quite obedient. And that tells you a little about what kind of story Talina in the Tower is.
There’s lots of magic and plenty of adventure. Talina is another feisty young heroine, rather like Teodora from The Undrowned Child, except she lives in Venice over thirty years before Teodora, at a time when there’s another horrible threat to this beautiful city.
The reader will recognise many of the characters in Talina either as a younger version of someone from Teodora’s time, or as someone bearing the same surname as one of the later characters. It’s nice with the continuity, and in an odd way it’s reassuring to know that they didn’t live ‘happily ever after,’ because we already know more trouble happens.
Talina’s parents, and many other Venetians, disappear and some disgusting wolf/hyena-like creatures can be seen at night, but only by children. Talina and her cat Drusilla get taken in by Talina’s distinctly unlovely guardian, who lives in a tower. That’s until the day something quite unexpected happens to Talina, and nothing is ever the same again.
There are cats, and rats, and all care about their Venice. Together they work to save it, along with those tea towels.
As usual in Michelle’s books there’s lots of food, although not all of it terribly appetising. This is an exciting tale of courage and friendship and love for your family. I think Talina in the Tower might be even better than the other two novels. Or I might think so because it’s my most recently read book. The beautiful cover is purple. That always helps.