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4.6 out of 5 stars73
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 November 2004
Like Cornelia Funke in Inkheart and the Thief Lord, Eva Ibbotson creates a fantastical take on the world where there are foundlings and great big baddies. Bravely she sets the book in the starchy world of early 20th Century Vienna, but she pulls it off with aplomb.
Putting aside the ripping-yarn elements of the story (which are wonderful) this is also a very useful book for parents of adopted children as the heroine is a foundling who ends up realising that her 'made' family is far better than the fantasy of reclamation by her birth-mother.
Like Cornelia Funke, Ibbotson is very good at painting adults who, beneath scratchy exteriors are truly good - the three professors all show great mettle underneath their ponderous, aged facades. I also like this element having read an interview with Ibbotson in The Guardian which showed her to be a rather grumpy old woman herself!
I really enjoyed the Star of Kazan and will now go and find Journey to the River Sea.
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on 15 November 2004
Eva Ibbotson is a great writer, not 'just' a great children's writer. Every night I read another chapter to my ten year old daughter and looked forward to it at least as much as she did. As in 'The Journey to the River Sea', Eva Ibbotson creates a vivid and fully realised world, populates it with characters which have just enough of the grotesque mixed in with their humanity to make them memorable, then ties the whole thing together with a pageturner of a story that for all its twists and turns is never contrived. Really magical, and my book of the year.
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on 25 May 2009
I bought this book for my 9 year old daughter about a year ago, to read as a good night story. Both of us enjoyed it thoroughly. The language of the book evokes great imagery so easily and it was so easy to get completely lost in Annika's world. Beautiful! The journey to the river sea was a fantastic book, but in my opinion the Star of kazan is even better.
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on 1 October 2004
THE STAR OF KAZAN is a fantastic book. I don't know what 'im-here-to-help' is talking about. The characters are wonderful and the plot is intricate and thrilling.
Eva Ibbotson is a skilled and accomplished writer who is fantastic at creating characters who you fall in love with. THE STAR OF KAZAN is every bit as heartwarming and absorbing as JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA and everyone should read it!
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on 28 May 2010
I read this book with a group of P7 pupils and found it gripping for me as well as for them. It is extrmemely well written and an excellent model to use with children. This is what they had to say:

"It was on of those books that you couldn't put down. You had to keep reading it."
"We wanted to keep reading more because it was so detailed and full of twists and turns."
"I liked that the characters all got what was coming to them."
"The characters were realistic and detailed."
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on 28 October 2007
This is a wonderful book for anyone - a gripping story with wonderful characters, both child and adult. My 11-year-old son and I both enjoyed it from page 1 to the end.
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on 2 February 2008
This is probably the best book I have ever read. I read Journey to the River Sea and loved it and then this one was recommended to me and I thought it was amazing. The book is all about this girl called Annika who lives in Vienna with her foster mum Ellie, Ellie's best friend Sigrid and three professors. However as a baby Annika was left in a church and Ellie took her in. One day Annika's mother comes to fetch her and Annika is swept on an adventure of discovery and unexpected danger. I would recommend this book to anyone aged 10-12 particularly as I think this is the age the book is really good for. However older or younger readers may also enjoy this story. It suits pretty much everyone from the ages of 10-12. It has an historical part to it, good characters, adventure and the growing up of a teenage girl. This book was a real page turner and really addicting, do read it and Journey to the River Sea as well.
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on 4 January 2008
I would definitely recommend The Star of Kazan. I have read it twice and it lost none of its original thrill the second time round. readers should not be put off by its length. The descriptions are excellent but by no means boring. One can really feel each characters emotions and the plot is well thought out and full of surprises. A MUST!!!!!!!!!!
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on 30 July 2012
The Star of Kazan is my favourite book my Eva Ibbotson. The plot is fantastic, it's mysterious, but it makes sense, and you can understand it. I've found with many books that the more mysterious plots are hard to understand, and are really unrealistic, but Eva Ibbotson has found a balance between mystery and the reader's understanding which is really hard to do. The characters are very easy to relate to, and I grew attached to them as the book went on. When Annika is scared or upset, you feel the same. When she is happy, you feel happy as well. When you have to close the book because you've finished it, or you have to go somewhere, it's as if you have just woken from a dream because the book draws you in. The way it is written, with such sensitivity and care, makes you really think about the characters even more. This book addresses the selfishness of humans, how far will we go to get what we want? It really makes you think about the morals of humans - are we really as good as we believe, or have we all got an evil streak in us, that is just waiting to be found?

I would recommend this book more to girls than to boys, because the main character is a girl and that makes it harder for boys to relate to her. However, boys can read it to, because it's a brilliant book!
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2009
Annika, a foundling brought up by a cook and her house-maid friend, had always dreamt of her mother coming to find her. Annika had always worked in the house of the eccentric Professors in which she had grown up but when her mother actually does turn up, she finds herself living in the large - if somewhat run down - von Tannenberg family estate.

An old lady who Annika befriended in the last days of her life leaves the girl a trunk of imitation jewels but they never arrive. Having made friends with Zed, a half-gypsy servant boy, the two of them find the trunk on a beach and the twists of the story start to unfold.

Eva Ibotson is a fantastic storyteller, bringing each of the books characters to life in a way that makes you feel that you know them. The only complaints I have over this book is that most of the 'twists' were pretty obvious (to me at least, although I suppose I was looking out for them) and at times I just wanted Annika to wake up and see what was going on. However, this would have obviously ruined the plot so overall it was good that she didn't!
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