Action adventure meets classic romance in this delightful YA novel.
Emma is sixteen years old and about to start another year at her boarding school, Castle Stolzenburg, tucked away deep in a forest in the German countryside. The routine in her beloved school is interrupted when Emma finds a mysterious ancient book in an abandoned wing of the library, just as Toby and Darcy – two former tudents – arrive at the castle. Darcy belongs to the de Winter family that owns the castle and he immediately settles in with the entitlement felt only by the rich and privileged. Emma is repelled by his arrogance and hates him with a passion. Meanwhile Emma’s erstwhile crush, Frederick, grows increasingly distant.
However, Emma is more interested in the ancient book she has found. It appears to be an old chronicle of the castle, written by a long line of guardians. When Emma decides to take over as the next chronicler, she quickly comes to realise that everything written in the old tome invariably, if unpredictably, comes true. As Emma begins to play with her new, literally life-altering toy, dark forces converge on Castle Stolzenburg and a murky past begins to resurface. It turns out that Darcy has returned to search for his twin sister, who vanished from the school without a trace four years previously, and that the mysterious book may not only hold clues to her disappearance but may indeed have caused it. And now Emma suddenly finds herself in danger.
Emma, the Faun and the Forgotten Book is a classic adventure-style YA novel, with plenty of action and mystery, witty dialogue, finely drawn characters and the kind of world that all children and young people love to disappear into. Gläser writes in the tradition of beloved YA writers, such as Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Susan Cooper, and J. K. Rowling. Her style is light and witty, and she is able to create a self-contained world that every reader will long to visit. The enchanting mystery of the old castle and Gläser’s great ability to keep the plot moving forward drive the novel. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice may have been the starting point for Gläser, but she has turned the old material of enemies-turned-lovers into a charming new story. This book is an unexpected delight and a true page-turner.