Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Blackhope Enigma - Teresa Flavin

The Blackhope Enigma* - Teresa Flavin
Twitter - @TeresaFlavin
ISBN - 9780763660673
Publisher - Templar UK
Twitter - @templarbooks

'For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, which seems to centre around a curious painting hanging in the Mariner’s Chamber. Its meaning has baffled historians, but when fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower, she finds herself transported to the very heart of the Blackhope Enigma, and the painting itself.

Can she and her friend Blaise overcome its dangers and evade their ruthless pursuers? And will they find their way home . . . alive?

An age-old mystery is about to unravel.'
- Goodreads

Sunni Forrest is studying a painting, painted by Il Corvo, a renowned Renaissance painter whose reputation is shrouded in rumors about enchanted paintings, in the Mariner's Chamber of the Blackhope Tower. Her step-brother Dean is with her and, getting bored of waiting around, starts following the path of a labyrinth engraved on the chamber floor. Somehow he figures out the trigger to magically transport him into Corvo's painting and disappears. He is followed by Sunni and the next day, by Blaise, an American student in Sunni's art class who was there when Dean disappeared. Once in the painting they discover Arcadia is actually exists in the painting as a real world and the adventures begin! There are mazes, monsters and pirates, a scheming artist from their own time (the brother of their art teacher), an apprentice who studied under Corvo, a man called Hugo who appears to be some sort of caretaker & his servant and a motley assortment of other characters. Confirming the rumors that Fausto Corvo indeed did know how to paint a world within a world inside a painting the children set off to find a way out of the world and the painting to get back home. 

I loved The Blackhope Enigma, it was a fantastic adventure novel with the added fantastical elements, pirates and all the male characters mean it would appeal to anybody. I also loved the art element present all the way through, from Corvo's painting to Sunni & Blaise's sketchbooks which are never far away from them to Teresa Flavin's illustrations scattered throughout the pages. It's aimed at children aged 9 & up but anyone could read it really as there's adventure, fantasy & history all of which gives it wide appeal and not forgetting the art which only fuels your interest - especially in the creation of Corvo whose life comes across so convincingly you're almost certain he's a real artist and not just one created purely for the story.

Labyrinths, mazes, pirates & pirate ships, treasure maps, bad guys, good guys - The Blackhope Enigma really does have it all and I can't wait to get started on the next book, The Crimson Shard, to see what else Sunni & Blaise can get up to and whether Blaise's crush on Sunni is ever reciprocated!

*My copy was borrowed from my local library but I have just bought my own to keep for the future library of F & E when they get older!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a lot of fun. I've been trying to stay clear of books for this age group lately, but I'm always wanting to find new ones for kids in my life. And for the teachers!:)


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