Amelia Fang & the Barbaric Ball is the first in a series of stories by the fabulous Laura Ellen Anderson. Welcome to Nocturnia, a city in the Kingdom of the Dark and a place full of all things ghastly - ghouls, darkness, ghosts and where the inhabitants live in fear of the Kingdom of the Light and all things sparkly - glitter, unicorns and fairies.
Nocturnia is the home of ten-year-old vampire Amelia Fang and her friends Grimaldi Reaperton (he’s a reaper, obviously) and Florence, a yeti. It is time again for the annual Barbaric Ball hosted by Amelia’s parents, Countess Frivoleeta and Count Drake. They are delighted to hear that King Vladimir and his son, Prince Tangine, will be attending the event, an incredibly rare public outing for them since the death of the Queen (who was apparently eaten by a fairy).
Amelia hates the ball but is hoping that this year’s might be better as at least there will be another child in attendance. Unfortunately, Prince Tangine is utterly horrid. He is rude, demanding and only cares about himself. When he decides to take Squashy, Amelia’s beloved pet pumpkin, a daring rescue mission begins. Whilst snooping around the King’s palace it becomes apparent that everything is not quite as it seems and in rescuing Squashy, Amelia will uncover some very dark, or should that be light, secrets…
Amelia Fang & the Barbaric Ball is ghastly, ghoulish and brilliant fun. It is the perfect balance of fun and fright and is packed full of awesome alliterative phrases. You’ll be munching on flabbergasting falafels, being chased by the Gremlin Guards and then it’ll be time for your Repugnant Recipes lesson. The story also includes important messages on friendship and accepting others. Not only is Anderson a brilliantly inventive writer, she is also a fantastic illustrator and the book is littered with gothic black and white illustrations.
A very accessible book for readers who are beginning to read longer and more challenging chapter books. To guide readers on their way there is a map and character portraits with introductions before the action gets going.
And if you can’t wait to join Amelia on her next adventure…there are several more books in the series.
Recommended for 7+.