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The Fate in the Box [Hardcover]

Michelle Lovric
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 May 2013

Fogfinger rules Venice. His Fog Squad and spies are everywhere. The Venetians fear him and obey him. Every year one of their children is lost in a grisly Lambing ceremony. The child must climb the bell tower and let the Fate in the Box decide their destiny. Most end their days in the jaws of the primeval Crocodile that lurks in the lagoon. Or so Fogfinger tells them. But a chance meeting by a green apricot tree between Amneris and Tockle may be the beginning of the end for Fogfinger.

Silk and sewing, a magical glass kaleidoscope, mermaids and misunderstood Sea-Saurs, talking statues and winged cats, blue glass sea-horses, a spoiled rich girl and a secret society are just some of the ingredients in Michelle Lovric's exquisitely imagined and superbly plotted fourth fantasy set in Venice.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444003399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444003390
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

I think this book deserves five out of five stars ... I was swept away into its magical adventures. (BIBLIOTECA REVIEWS)

Venice itself is so well portrayed that it becomes a character in its own right. Its narrow streets, its murky canals and dark, secret towers are the setting for an astonishing world of witches, hags, mermaids and magicians. Tea towels become means of transport, ordinary household ingredients are combined into potions, and a small boy is allowed to stand up in court and argue for the preservation of the city. The book is an exciting, amusing and enchanting read. (THE BOOKBAG)

For those who love action-packed fantasy, this is a must ... a magical adventure story. (BARBARA MITCHELHILL)

I couldn't put this book down. I enjoyed it immensley, especially the ending ... I found this funny, filled with action and informative. Overall I give this book five stars out of five. Read it! (Mia Quraishi Nash, aged 10 WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

This is an exciting tale of courage and friendship and love for your family. (BOOKWITCH)

Venice is conjured up in all her shabby glory ... But the story isn't just about setting. There is an action packed plot, with wonderful characters, fantastical beasts, and a deliciously wry, dry sense of humour threading all the way through. And there are mischief and mayhem, horror and gore, fun and games. I don't think I've enjoyed reading something so much for ages. (JE TOWEY)

Michelle Lovric has once again created a rollicking adventure full of history, awesome imagination and fantastic characters of all sorts. (THE DIARY OF A BOOK WORM)

This fantastical tale not only offers a richly detailed historical view of Venice, but also provides a vividly imaginative take on the city ... Imbued with magic, mystery and a rip-roaring plot, this book is a gripping read for older children, with lyrical and compelling prose, and a depiction of a fantasy Venice that is both evocative and beautiful. (ITALIA!)

It's an action-packed, totally enchanting read for children and adults alike. (MADHOUSE FAMILY REVIEWS)

a story ... that will enchant you from first page to the last. Add this to Michelle's solid use of prose, cracking dialogue and a lead character that the readers will want to embark on their adventure with and it's a story that was a pure joy to read. Finally add to this a sense of whimsy, and enchanting story overall and a whole host of supporting cast members that will make this a hard tale to forget. Great stuff. (TATTY'S TREASURE CHEST / FALCATA TIMES)

I liked reading this book because it's set in a different time and place. I would definitely recommend this book for 10 - 14 year olds, and am now keen to read other books by the same author. (Bethany Hammond, aged 12 KIDAROUND)

Brilliant fun! A lively fantasy adventure for 8+. I enjoyed this book a lot. Reading it, I was enveloped in a cocoon on magic, taking me to a nineteenth century Venice where magic openly exists ... a classic children's fantasy (THOUGHTS FROM THE HEARTHFIRE)

The writing is beautiful and descriptive allowing you to sample life in Venice just by turning the page. The imagery is stunning and I found myself desperately wanting to visit Venice, but with Michelle as my tour guide. With each description of Venice, you can tell how much the author loves the city; her words breathe out enthusiasm and affection ... The plot had me hooked from the first page ... Michelle Lovric has created an enchanting novel that has left me wanting more. (SERENDIPITY REVIEWS)

...intelligently written: beautiful prose, witty dialogue, plus enough gore and gruesome Venetian history to satisfy modern children. (PATRICIAGUY.COM)

I want to call Michelle's books a guilty pleasure, but I think that would be doing them a gross disservice as it implies that I shouldn't really be loving them as much as I do. Perhaps I should replace the word 'guilty' for 'the ultimate story-lover's', for that is what they are to me ... Michelle uses her rich prose to weave a luxurious tapestry of a fairytale, populated with colourful characters, the dialogue between whom is another stand out feature of the story. (THE BOOK ZONE FOR BOYS)

There's brilliant magic throughout this book that made me constantly wonder what was going to happen next ... Magic is interwoven through the pages in such a way that it's entirely natural but also wonderfully surprising too ... You really couldn't ask for more from a book. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I think it would appeal as much to boys as well as girls as it has plenty of gore alongside the magical to keep everyone happy. (MY FAVOURITE BOOKS)

To say this story is wonderfully creative woujld be an understatement. It is more than that - vivid, believable, well written, and heart-wrenching ... From the beauty of it's breath-taking cover to the wonderfully emotional tale told with spell-binding prose, this is a treasure of a book. (HISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW)

Book Description

A magical story about a friendship between two girls, one rich, one poor, whose worlds collide as they fight to save Venice from a dangerous stranger called Fogfinger.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of mystery and adventure. 11 Jun 2013
By clojo
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed the Fate in the box. It was full of excitement, mystery and adventure and I couldn't put it down. I have read previous books by Michelle Lovric such as The undrowned child which was equally as exciting. She is a fantastic author and I would definitely recommend her books to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Michelle Lovric has created a truly bizarre and unsettling version of Venice under the dictatorship of the cruel and peculiar tyrant Fogfinger. In the best children's book tradition, he is unequivocally evil and the adults seem helpless and, in many cases, clueless that they are even in a bad situation. Michelle Lovric's child heroes are resourceful and brave, as well as being readily relatable for child readers.

The characters are definitely a strength in this novel (and in others I've read by the same author). These Venetian fantasies are peopled by a mixture of humans and creatures (some real, some fantastic) with strongly differentiated characteristics. I love the determination and tenacity of little Amneris, first seen in peril in the prologue as she climbs up into a tower where death may await her. From this opening, we jump back three months to see how this climax is reached, meeting Tockle, son of kaleidoscope makers, and Biri, Amneris's best friend, along the way. The child characters are realistic and recognisable and I'm sure many children will view them as friends and will recognise aspects of their friends (and of themselves) in them. The evil and magical characters are gloriously larger-than-life and inventive.

The novel is tightly and intricately plotted, with plenty of clues (and red herrings) as to how it will all fit together. I certainly wasn't able to predict the details of the story and there is more than enough to surprise and delight a child reader. Michelle Lovric uses magic and fantastic beasts to help the children, working within the quest and fairy tale traditions of magical helpers, but it is their own bravery which ultimately spurs them on, resulting in a satisfying tale for young readers.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic story full of mystery 29 May 2013
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition
I love Michelle Lovric's writing, her books really bring Venice with all of its mystery and magic to life.

Set in 1783, The Fate in the Box is a story full of secrets and suspense. Venice has been under the control of the mysterious Fogfinger for a number of years. Without realising it, the Venetians have allowed Fogfinger to control every aspect of their lives. This control has been exacerbated by the invention of automatons, strange robot like creations which serve the venetians with their every whim.

Fogfinger has also established a regime of fear throughout this beautiful city. The rumours of a primeval crocodile lurking has led to the annual sacrifice of a child to appease this frighteneing creature. This terrible ceremony is known as The Lambing and a child is taken to the top of a bell tower where the fate in the box will decide what their destiny will be. Will they fall into the mouth of the crocodile or will their young life be spared? The only active opponents of Fogfinger seem to be `Il Piccoli Pochi', but these brave people are ruthlessly hunted down by Fogfinger's evil followers. However, when three children meet by chance by an apricot tree things start to look like they may change for Fogfinger.

Amneris comes from a renowned Venetian sewing family, she has had a happy childhood even though she works all hours to help make money for her family. Tockle also works very hard to help support his family and collects glass on the island of Murano. Biri is another young child and spends her days with her clever parrot conning unwitting Venetians out of money. At the other end of the social scale, Latenia is incredibly spoilt and lives in vast palazzo where she spends all day eating cakes.
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