Today’s book review is for Serafina and the Black Cloak, written by Robert Beatty. I don’t usually read middle grade books, but with all the attention this has gotten on social media, I thought it might be up there with the Harry Potter Series. I was wrong, though.

PROS: I loved the setting. I’ve been to the Biltmore Estate, and it’s an amazing place. I love how the author used a historical setting in a fantasy novel. The main characters were enjoyable and true to themselves, and they spent most of their time focusing on the mystery of the man in the black cloak. The fantasy element–which I love–is strong in this read. It also centers on mystery.

CONS: Although the author made many attempts to lead his readers in different directions, I guessed who the man in the black cloak was early in the book. There was also a side story that I didn’t see coming, but it wasn’t a big wow moment for me.

In the end, I recommend this to middle grade readers, but I don’t think older teens or adults will like it as much. I do see there is a second book in the series, but I won’t be checking it out. Maybe my middle daughter will want it, though. I give this four stars, but I’ve read stronger middle grade books–Harry Potter and Fablehaven.