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The Star of Kazan
 
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Eva Ibbotson
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The Star of Kazan

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  4,858 ratings  ·  424 reviews
In 1896, in a pilgrim church in the Alps, an abandoned baby girl is found by a cook and a housemaid. They take her home, and Annika grows up in the servants' quarters of a house belonging to three eccentric Viennese professors. She is happy there but dreams of the day when her real mother will come to find her. And sure enough, one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the d ...more
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Published September 4th 2008 by MacMillan UK (first published December 31st 1999)
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Namratha
Oct 15, 2011 Namratha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jen, Sheel Mehta, Kate
Eva Ibbotson weaves an old-fashioned adventure around a young foundling called Annika. Abandoned in a church on the slopes of Mt. Dorfelspitze, the baby is adopted by a pair of friends: Ellie, the cook and Sigrid, the housemaid. They take her back to their owners’ house in Vienna. Annika is a happy, industrious child.....learning to cook Viennese delicacies from Ellie, keeping the house sparkling clean and doing a multitude of odd jobs for the eccentric professors who are the owners of the house ...more
Lily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaffleoppleplutika Xeliet
This is a sweet story. In general I like Eva Ibbotson's books, but honestly, this one really stood out to me. I love how she catches you off guard with details you didn't think mattered. The main character is kind and you can really sympathize to her, and the overall plot is well developed. It's not too hard of a read, and the words flow easily. I really think you should read this book- it's one of my favorites.
Harmony
Just as good as her book The Dragonfly Pool...I might have even liked the story better. Overall, great story, well-written, great characters... a really nice read
Maia B.
I do like Eva Ibbotson.

Her books for older people (A Countess Below Stairs is my favorite) are really excellent, but her children's books are almost - better. By which I mean...even more tightly plotted, even more lovable, even more well-written.

Annika isn't absolutely fascinating, but she's strong and funny and she has pretty hair. (Although I have to say, I'm a bit tired of the protagonist shut up in some awful place, succoring herself with remembering something good about her life [cooking,
...more
Miss Clark
3.5 stars

This is just a fun, very enjoyable tale of an foundling child, Annika, who was taken in by Sigrid and Ellie, the servants of a trio of professors in Vienna. She has a happy life there with her adopted mother Ellie, her "aunt" and "uncles", and her many friends throughout the town. She daydreams about her mother one day coming for her, until it actually happens and she is dragged off to Germany.

Now, if you know Ibbotson's style, not much in the story will come as a surprise, as her plots
...more
Jan
A wonderfully readable mystery by the incomparable Eva Ibbotson. Annika is an orphan who was abandoned as an infant. She is taken in by two servants who work for a family of eccentric professors. She grows up in a servant’s world, surrounded by love, but she yearns to know more about her birth mother. Annika is recruited to care for the elderly relative of an obnoxious family in the neighborhood who are indifferent to their relative’s well being. Annika befriends the old lady, who tells her all ...more
Bonnie Gayle
Jul 14, 2007 Bonnie Gayle rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Little Princess
Hmm...Eva Ibbotson wrote this as a tribute to Vienna, the country she grew up in, and sure enough, I only liked the sections that took place in Vienna, not in Germany. I found the part of the story that takes place in Germany miserably depressing. Sadly, the Vienna section is only the first 80, and last 50 pages of the over 400 page book. I wasn't in the mood to read a depressing story, so I skimmed the rest of the book, because I was interested in seeing what happened.
The story is about a girl
...more
Marleen
Annika lives in Vienna, in the household of three professors, where’s she being raised by the two servants who found her in a church when she was just a few days old. Although she is very happy in her life and loves the professors as well as Ellie and Sigrid, the servants who found her, Annika has dreams about her mother coming, arriving at the house in Vienna to reclaim her. Annika just knows that her mother will be beautiful and someone important and that she will be delighted to have found he ...more
Stephanie
Sometimes I felt like this story was wandering, especially at the beginning. Hard to put down, though. And hard to describe--there was humor, but it's not a funny book. There were a lot of strange things happening (and strange characters, some of them), but most of it felt really ordinary. It was predictable, yet I kept wanting to know what would happen next.
The main character, Annika, got a little annoying at times, but for most of the book she's twelve, so I guess that's to be expected--I did
...more
Rushda
The last time I read this book was about 5 years ago and I remembered it to have been a good book but I had forgotten just how good it is. Once again, I am blown away by the way Eva Ibbotson creates a completely believable new world and thoroughly enjoyable characters. Although this bok is written for children, I recommend that you also read it as a teen or adult because it is only then that you will be able to appreciate the truly beautiful writing style, especially the descriptions of historic ...more
Nanci
I usually like Eva Ibbotson so I wanted to give this book a try. Of all the Ibbotson I have read, this has been my least favorite. I am not sure what elements really turned me off. Maybe it was the predictability, maybe it was the decisions Annika made that just didn't make any sense to me. Her idea of a mother and the actions of a mother up against the experience of living with her foster mother should have been cut and dry to me. I couldn't understand the misguided sense of loyalty. That spoil ...more
The Walking Dictionary
Aw geez. I read this book a couple years ago and liked it, then reread it later and decided that while most of it was still good, the main character annoyed me. A lot.

So, the good? The setting of Vienna is great, the descriptions have that old-timey feel to them, and I really liked the city and the Ferris wheel and the Spanish Riding School and all that jazz. The food descriptions especially (don't read this when you're hungry, guys). The side characters were fun, too, from Ellie the cook to Pro
...more
Coolbeans
When I first saw this book, I looked at it and thought that it would be a boring sort of, childish book. So therefore I left in the corner and forgot about it, until a few months later I was in the sort of bored-I-need-to-read-but-have-nothing-to-read state and was forced to pick the book up and boy oh boy, was I surprised! It is a beautiful, sweet and incredibly well written book, following the life of young Annika who was abandoned as a baby and adopted by a cook and a housemaid who work for t ...more
Amy Musser
11 year old Annika has had the same dream ever since she can remember – the mother who abandoned her in a tiny church in the Austrian mountains suddenly arrives at the door. She’s never really imagined what would happen after that point, but it’s still a lovely dream. Annika doesn’t daydream about it too much, she’s too busy living and loving life with her adopted family in Vienna. She lives with Ellie and Sigrid, the two women who found her in the church that sunny day, along with three siblin ...more
Rebekah Rochester
This is one of the only books which cause me to have an 'out-of-body experience' - by which I mean, I felt transported away from my real life, and I could see the story world so clearly before me, hear the sounds, know the characters. Normally we feel this to a certain extent when reading, but every so often a book comes along and really sweeps you off your feet. (Bizarrely, Heidi is the only other like this which springs to mind).

I first read this on a crowded campsite in the South of France. T
...more
Corinne
I debated between 4 to 5 stars. As an adult, I very much enjoyed this book, hence the 4 stars. As a child in 5th grade, I think I would have liked it even more, 5 stars. The fairytale like story had a good mixture of happy and sad, love for the heroine and beauty in the setting. Surrounding characters were absolutely perfect in their description and manner. Annika, the main character, I came to love just as much as I loved the book. Great ending to a wonderful story!
Manar
Eva Ibbotson is by far my favourite author ever! Her books are the perfect mix of historical fiction, adventure and that special touch Eva adds to all her books. The Star of Kazan was lovely and I absolutely loved the twists and turns of the story. Eva Ibbotson does this thing in her books where she makes you just want to be there and seeing the events unwinding right in front of you, with the Star of Kazan, the detailed description of Vienna and the sights within just made me want to jump into ...more
Elevetha
Not quite as good as Journey to the River Sea.

Good lyricism and atmosphere.
Boring in bits.
Lacking a strong, in any way, main character. Rather like a sheep, in that she question her "mother" in no way and just followed along.
Side characters were more interesting.
Predictable plot.
Still enjoyable.

Recommended for MG children.
KJ
Reading Eva Ibbotson's The Star of Kazan is like falling into pile of clean sheets warm from the clothes dryer. A welcome coziness, especially after the bout of mediocre-to-terrible books I read at the start of the year.

It's always interesting to me to read literature aimed at a much younger audience, especially when it's my first time reading it. There is a different "weight" of storytelling involved, and the telling emphasizes sensory engagement.

I don't have any lens of nostalgia through whi
...more
Cloe
I had to read Star of Kazan for my English class. My friends all read it before me, and they said it was a really good book. I believed them but once I began to start reading, I began to have doubts. To be honest, I wasn't all that thrilled with the storyline. I've had previous experiences with Eva Ibbotson books, and I didn't particularly enjoy any of them. But I didn't hate any of them. Just neutral.

The Star of Kazan is about a girl called Annika who celebrates her Found Day instead of her bir
...more
Mazzou B
I have recently been reading some new (to us) books in hopes of finding some small gems for my younger siblings.
This book brings the main character, Annika to life in a warm manner. I really felt like I knew the girl. The author also describes Vienna in bright fashion. The plot is interesting.
Yet there was something missing from this story. I don't have much time to analyze a children's fictional story, but I believe the author failed to present her main point strongly enough. Annika has a s
...more
Aruna Muthumanickam
Every fantasy lover must read this book, at least once. The characters are refreshingly moulded and the story is such that one doesn't just read but dreams through the book. And that is a good thing, trust me.
Alisha A
This book was very well written and I really liked it. It is more of a children's book but can still fascinate you.

The main character, Annika, was described as beautiful and skilled and I can imagine that very well. I love how adventurous it is and it's set I believe in the 1800's. I can imagine that too.

I also really liked Zed, a boy who worked on the farm for Annika's 'real' mother. He's very sweet I guess and I think the relationship between him and Annika is very nice but I'd like to hear mo
...more
Sophie Cox
This book was very exciting. There were so many different stages to the book which meant the plot line kept on flowing and was fast-moving and exciting throughout. There were any different characters and they were all very different but they all made the book what it was as well as having a good plot.
The book was tense all throughout as the plot begins to thicken even before it even starts. From a mysterious past to a unbelievable chance everything seems to be going good until it starts to go wr
...more
Judy Ekblad
Loved this book. Thanks for recommending it Lawrene!
Elise Nicole
Today, I probably wouldn't enjoy this book so much if I was reading it for the first time at age 17. Fortunately, I read this book when I was 9, and it has been one of my reread favorites for a long time.

Since it carries such sentimental value, I have a loving attachment to this book and am perhaps blinded to the parts that some reviewers are calling 'boring' or 'depressing'. I have always found it to be an interesting and exciting story with good characters that have unique voices, and fascinat
...more
Pashi
I headed into this book knowing I had read it before - because I recognized the cover - but remembered absolutely nothing about it. However, the deeper I got into it the more I happily remembered, which is a very good way to reread a book, IMO. When I read the inside cover it sounded frightfully boring and, as I previously mentioned, it seemed to me very reminiscent of the 90's Don Bluth film Anastasia, at least in terms of the plot. But once Annika arrives at Spittal, the plot veers away from t ...more
Sheryl
Annika has never had a birthday. Instead, she celebrates her Found Day, the day a housemaid and a cook for three eccentric Viennese professors found her and took her home. There, Annika made a happy life in the servants' quarters and surrounded herself with friends, including the elderly woman next door who regaled Annika with stories about her countless admirers-especially the Russian count who gave her the legendary emerald, the Star of Kazan. And yet Annika still dreamed of finding her try mo ...more
Jenne
Jul 29, 2010 Jenne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young teens who like to read big books!
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed
A good story that took awhile to wrap up the ending. Patricia Connelly(?) did a good job of reading it though.

Founding, Annika has been brought up in Vienna. Ellie and Sigrid, the two women who found her are wonderful, as are the professor’s they work for and of course, all her friends. She learns to love cooking, sees the legendary horse of Vienna put through their paces and enjoys listening to the tales of the old lady who used to be on the stage and received many breath-taking jewels, includi
...more
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
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More about Eva Ibbotson...
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“Pauline kept a scrapbook into which she pasted important articles that she had cut out of the newspapers. These were about the courageous deeds that had been done by people even if they only had one leg or couldn't see or had been dropped on their heads when they were babies.
'It's to make me brave,' she'd explained to Annika.”
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“It was a lovely church - one of those places which look as though God might be about to give a marvellous party.” 5 likes
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