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Serafina #2

Serafina and the Twisted Staff

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Serafina's defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.

Late one night, Serafina encounters a strange and terrifying figure in the forest, and is attacked by the vicious wolfhounds that seem to be under his control. Even worse, she's convinced that the stranger was not alone, that he has sent his accomplice into Biltmore in disguise.

Someone is wreaking havoc at the estate. A mysterious series of attacks test Serafina's role as Biltmore's protector, culminating in a tragedy that tears Serafina's best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt, from her side. Heartbroken, she flees.
Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore—and discovers its reach is far greater than she'd ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.

370 pages, Hardcover

First published July 12, 2016

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About the author

Robert Beatty

14 books1,899 followers
Robert Beatty is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Serafina series and Willa of Dark Hollow, both published by Disney Hyperion. He is also an Executive Producer for the WILLA live-action television series that is currently in development. WILLA OF DARK HOLLOW, which can be read as a stand-alone story or as a follow-up to WILLA OF THE WOOD, is now available for order.

The Serafina Series is a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate.
Serafina and the Black Cloak was a #1 New York Times best seller, has been on the list for more than 60 weeks, and won the prestigious 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. The second book in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, became a #1 New York Times best seller in the first week of its launch and earned a "Starred Review" from Kirkus Reviews, which said, "Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end." Enjoyed by both young readers and adults, the books are being taught in over a thousand classrooms nationwide. The third book in the series, Serafina and the Splintered Heart, launched in July 2017 to much acclaim. The fourth book, Serafina and the Seven Stars, turned Serafina into a New York Times best-selling series. Willa of the Wood is a #1 New York Times bestseller. Willa of Dark Hollow publishes May 4, 2021.
Robert Beatty lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and three daughters, who help create and refine his stories. He loves to explore Biltmore Estate and the darkened forest trails where his novels take place. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives, Robert was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year. When asked about the inspiration for his books, Robert said, "The Serafina and Willa novels grew out of my desire to write stories about unusual and heroic young girls for my three daughters."

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5 stars
4,814 (46%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,143 reviews
Profile Image for Andrew.
Author 1 book3 followers
April 28, 2016
Serafina and the Twisted Staff picks up just a few weeks after the end of the first book when Serafina and her allies defeated a dark evil preying on the children visiting the Biltmore Estate.

As much as Serafina learned about herself in the last book, she still has more to learn. There are new surprises and bigger, badder villains. Friendships forged in the first book will be put to the test while new and exciting relationships force Serafina to push herself even further. It is a story about growing up and really coming into one’s power as an individual.

As with the Serafina and the Black Cloak, this story is aimed at young readers, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable as an adult. Beatty has created original story lines with a unique heroine, colorful background, strong characters, and plenty of surprises. I highly recommend both books, and I’m confident the third book will keep us all just as riveted.
Profile Image for Kimberly Dawn.
163 reviews
July 24, 2019
In this novel, the second of the series, Serafina becomes bolder, fiercer, and finds and embraces who she is......I highly recommend this one - enjoyable for big kids, tweens, teens, and adults!

The fairytale-like beauty of the Biltmore mansion and its estate are at risk, as evil forces are at work.

Fantasy, shapeshifting, mountain folklore, nature, wildlife...this book has it all and more. Fierce battles ensue against dark powers who wish to destroy the animals of the forest to further their own selfish, evil desires.

This is also Serafina’s private struggle to embrace who she is and find her mission in life. This 12-year old girl struggles mightily to find friendship, courage and her own self-worth.

An empowering story as Serafina courageously becomes the heroine of her life, as well as the heroine of those who live in the Biltmore house.

Set in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1899, on the beautiful Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in the U.S.

The chateauesque-style mansion, built by George Vanderbilt, was completed in 1895. The city of Asheville, NC, known as the Paris of the South, is tucked between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Profile Image for Lonna | FLYLēF.
161 reviews186 followers
February 6, 2017
FLYLēF Reviews

Original Post: Serafina and the Twisted Staff at FLYLēF (www.flylef.com)

IT COSTS ME twice as much to read Serafina and the Twisted Staff. I purchase one copy for myself, and one copy for my Goddaughter (who is also my niece). But, ssh. She doesn’t know yet, unless she’s reading this. In which case…SURPRISE, BABY GIRL!

In this dazzling and magical sequel, New York Times best selling author, Robert Beatty continues to weave an enchanting tale centered at Biltmore Estate, a magnificent and very real 250-bedroom mansion nestled in the forested mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I was captivated by this heart-stopping adventure about thrilling secrets and dangerous mysteries—as a courageous Serafina embraces her destiny to overcome a darkness set into motion long before The Man in the Black Cloak (Serafina 1).

Despite the discovery of her origins, twelve-year-old Serafina finds herself lonelier and more confused than ever before as she struggles to find acceptance. With “large amber eyes, deeply angled cheekbones, and a shaggy mane,” Serafina is anything but ordinary. I felt her anguish as she is cast unwanted by those she loves because she doesn't quite fit in. She is too human to be safe in the forest with her catamount mother, and too wild to be with her human pa. Even her bond with best friend, Braeden Vanderbuilt, is tested to its limits.

Meanwhile as a conflicting Serafina tries to understand and embrace her two halves, a dark force is gathering at Biltmore Estate. A “tragedy” so great leaves a heartbroken Serafina fleeing blindly and deeply into the forest where she “comes face to face with the evil conflicting Biltmore.”

With a plot that is as twisty as its predecessor, this sequel kept me engaged in Serafina and Braeden’s adventure, even as it sets forth many more new mysteries. It is written in a way that explores nuances and yet speaks quite plainly—a marriage that will enchant both the young and the young at heart, including me and my Goddaughter.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
December 8, 2017
Now I loved the first book in this series and I kind of went crazy at the library and got all three of the books before I even opened the first one. So, one could say I was definitely hoping (and really praying) that the next two books didn't sucks ass. The first one didn't but you never know when the second book comes out.

I feel like Serafina is like a weird nancy drew (weird because of the whole lion thing) because once again there's a new evil in town and who is the only one to defeat it? Her. Always her.

Now aside from all of that I kind of felt bad for her because she was kind of living two different lives and none of them truly accepted her either. It's kind of like there is no best of both worlds. But then again I didn't really see that happening after I read about her catching a rat with her bare hands.. yeah, no. Hard pass on that.

Other than that gross fact about Serafina - I love her friendship with Braeden. No matter what I can always count on them being together and being super fucking awesome. I love these two. I ship these two.

I don't even know what else to talk about - I just hope that the next book is even better. I can't wait to see how this all ends.
Profile Image for Книжни Криле.
2,891 reviews158 followers
November 28, 2017
Случвало ли ви се е още преди да завършите една книга вече да чакате продължението й? Именно това ми се случи по време на „Серафина и черният плащ” от Робърт Бийти. Но същевременно знаех, че това е само началото на историята за обитаващото сенките момиче Серафина, което поема по следите на група отвлечени деца. Знаех си, че в един момент книгата ще свърши, а аз ще броя дните до появата на продължението. Е, край на броенето! Пет мъчителни месеца по-късно вече мога да ви споделя впечатленията си от „Серафина и магическият жезъл“ (изд. „СофтПрес”)! Добре дошли отново в света на среднощните мистерии, черните плащове и дивокотките! Добре дошли в имението „Билтмор”. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":

Profile Image for Georgia.
987 reviews53 followers
March 23, 2020
Δείτε επίσης και στο Chill and read

Μετά την ανάγνωση του πρώτου βιβλίου της σειράς, «Η Σεραφίνα και ο Μαύρος Μανδύας» δεν μπορούσα να μη συνεχίσω με το δεύτερο βιβλίο. Η μικρή ηρωίδα είναι ένα κορίτσι με πολλές ανασφάλειες και πολλές κρυμμένες δυνάμεις, όπως είναι και τα περισσότερα δωδεκάχρονα κορίτσια.

Τρεις εβδομάδες μετά τη συντριβή του Άνδρα με τον Μαύρο Μανδύα., η Σεραφίνα συνεχίζει να ζει στο υπόγειο της έπαυλης Μπίλτμορ μαζί με τον πατέρα της. Μόνο που τώρα δε χρειάζεται να κρύβεται. Αντίθετα, της ζητείται να παραστεί σε μια συνάντηση με έναν άνθρωπο που ερευνά μια εξαφάνιση σχετική με τον Άνδρα με τον Μαύρο Μανδύα. Εκείνη και ο Μπρέινταν ανησυχ��ύν για το λόγο της συνάντησης, όμως δεν μπορούν να κάνουν διαφορετικά. Τουλάχιστον έχουν ακόμα ο ένας τον άλλον και τη φιλία τους!

Κι ενώ τα δύο παιδιά πίστευαν πως ο κίνδυνος είχε εξαφανιστεί μετά τα τελευταία γεγονότα, ένας νέος θανάσιμος κίνδυνος έρχεται να ταράξει τα νερά και να αναστατώσει τη ζωή στο δάσος αλλά και στην έπαυλη. Μπορεί όσα συνέβησαν πριν από λίγες εβδομάδες να αφορούσαν παιδιά που φιλοξενούνταν στην έπαυλη Μπίλτμορ, αυτή τη φορά όμως αυτό που κινδυνεύει φαίνεται πως είναι το δάσος που ανήκη στην έκταση των Βάντερμπιλτ αλλά και ολόκληρο το Μπίλτμορ. Η Σεραφίνα θα κάνει ότι μπορεί για να σώσει το Μπίλτμορ και τους ανθρώπους του, όμως θα χρειαστεί να πληρώσει και κάποιο τίμημα για αυτό.

Η Σεραφίνα, έχοντας μάθει πλέον την καταγωγή της, προσπαθεί να κατανοήσει ποια είναι και πως μπορεί να ζήσει ανάμεσα σε δύο κόσμους. Αυτόν της μητέρας της και αυτόν του Μπίλτμορ. Τη συναντάει πολύ συχνά και προσπαθεί να μάθει από εκείνη, όμως υπάρχουν κάποια πράγματα που ακόμα δεν τα έχει καταφέρει, όμως συνεχίζει να προσπαθεί. Ακόμα και πριν μάθει για τη μητέρα της, το δάσος ήταν κάτι οικείο σε εκείνη. Ένα μέρος που φιλοξενεί τόσα ζώα άλλωστε δε θα μπορούσε να είναι κάτι που την αφήνει αδιάφορη. Όμως όταν βλέπει πως τα ζώα το εγκαταλείπουν, αρχίζει να ανησυχεί. Είναι μέρος της ζωής της και θα κάνει ότι μπορεί για να το προστατεύσει, όπως ακριβώς και το Μπίλτμορ.

Στην προσπάθειά της αυτή, θα αναρωτηθεί αν συνεχίζει να έχει τη φιλία του νεαρού Μπρέινατν, του πρώτου και μοναδικού φίλου της. Θα κάνει όμως και νέες φιλίες που δεν τις περίμενε. Όμως, δεδομένων των συνθηκών, θα αμφισβητήσει πολλά, ακόμα και τον ίδιο της τον εαυτό. Όταν όμως θα πιστέψει ότι μπορεί να τα καταφέρει, όταν πιστέψει στον εαυτό της και αποφασίσει τι είναι αυτό που θέλει, όλα θα μπουν σε μια σειρά και θα πάρουν το δρόμο τους.

Πέρα λοιπόν από την φανταστική ιστορία της Σεραφίνας και της περιπέτειάς της, ο αναγνώστης παίρνει και μερικά μαθήματα. Χρειάζεται να έχουμε πίστη στον εαυτό μας. Μόνο έτσι θα καταφέρουμε όσα θέλουμε και ακόμα παραπάνω. Οι φιλίες χρειάζονται υπομονή, επιμονή, πίστη και εμπιστοσύνη. Μπορεί να έχουμε αμφιβολίες για το αν κάποιος θέλει ακόμα να είναι φίλος μας γιατί έχει μέρες να μας μιλήσει, μήπως πρέπει να αναρωτηθούμε αν θα ήταν πιο ξεκάθαρο αν του μιλούσαμε εμείς; Μην περιμένουμε από τους άλλους να μας αναζητήσουν, μπορούμε να το κάνουμε κι εμείς το ίδιο εύκολα. Κι επίσης, καλό θα ήταν να έχουμε ξεκάθαρα στο μυαλό μας το στόχο μας, γιατί μόνο έτσι θα φτάσουμε εκεί και δε θα παρασυρθούμε σε άλλα μονοπάτια.
Profile Image for Jefi Sevilay.
590 reviews54 followers
February 12, 2021
Tahminim 10-14 yaş arasını hedefleyen, yer yer karanlık ancak mutlu sonla biteceği belli olan keyifli bir maceraydı. Serafina zaten sevimli bir karakter ve her ergen gibi dünyadaki yerini arıyor. Arkadaşı Braeden de üst tabakaya ait olsa da arkadaşlığın sosyal sınıf gözetmediğini bilecek kadar iyi bir çocuk.

Kitabın bana göre tek eksisi fazla öngörülebilir olmasıydı. "Kötü karakter" çok barizdi ve Serafina da defalarca kez buna şahit olmasına (gözleriyle görmesine ve kulaklarıyla duymasına) rağmen kendini ortaya çıkarana kadar nedense anlamadı. Buna bir de okuyucunun kesinlikle kimsenin kalıcı bir zarar görmeyeceğine emin olması eklenince biraz hikayenin büyüsünü ve öngörülmezliğini baltaladı. Mesela Harry Potter ve Ateş Kadehi öyle miydi?

Yine de bence kendi kulvarında oldukça başarılıydı ve üçüncü kitap olan Serafina ve Parçalanmış Yürek de kitaplığımda okunmayı bekliyor.

Herkese keyifli okumalar!
Profile Image for Калина Минчева.
392 reviews85 followers
October 29, 2017
Охх, все така не разбирам как това е детска история, като на мен ми треперят зъбите от страх все по-силно след всяка следваща книга в поредицата?! I'm so lame... Тъй де, туй дет се опитвам да ви кажа е, че трябва да се запознаете със Серафина. Ама сто про - и да, употребата на... хмм - диалектни думи? - е напълно умишлена :)
П.П. Часът е 23:00 след смяна на времето, току-що оставих Серафина в една доста съмнителна ситуация и може и да не звуча много адекватно. Но историята си я бива и определено е едно достойно продължение!
Profile Image for Rebecca.
Author 13 books20 followers
July 22, 2016
Sophomore-itis. That's the best description of this.

Serafina and the Black Cloak was one of the best YA novels I read last year. It had a great setting, interesting characters and an unique supernatural twist. The Twisted Staff brings back our plucky heroine and Braedon, her wealthy sidekick and friend, but lacks the magic of the first go around. Serafina rushes to and fro, from one emergency to another, getting her butt kicked repeatedly by animals seemingly gone insane, but there's no heart to the story. The mystery is pretty obvious from the start, the bit with the "detective" Grantham is never fully explained or explored and all the frenetic running around just winds up being exhausting.

And the writing is terrible. Apparently the publisher didn't put any money at all into copy writing this book. It's rife with errors and repeat dialogue and the explanation of the mythology of the "Darkness" in the forest was poor.

It's still worth reading but I'm sorry Beatty and his editor didn't commit themselves to putting out a quality product. The Twisted Staff is barely passable.
Profile Image for Tracy (Cornerfolds).
569 reviews200 followers
August 1, 2016
Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!

Serafina and the Black Cloak was one of my favorite books of 2015, which was truly surprising since I don't actually review a lot of middle grade fiction. Originally (correct me if I'm wrong) it was only meant to be a standalone book. Luckily for all of us, Serafina was so well received that she got a second book! When Serafina and the Twisted Staff was announced I knew I had to see what happened next!

This book picks up not too long after the first left off. During our time away, Serafina has spent a lot of time with her mother wandering the woods and learning about her catamount nature. Although she hasn't succeeded in shifting to her cat form yet, she is determined to get it right eventually. But when a new danger comes to the woods near the Biltmore, her mother sends her away to keep her safe. Since we're talking about though, she decides to meet it head-on instead.

Serafina in the first book in this series was a lot of fun to get to know. She was seemingly fearless and was just a really interesting character. While I learned a lot about her then, now I feel like she's had a lot more opportunity to grow and develop. At the beginning of the Twisted Staff, Serafina is still prowling around in the walls and vents, sleeping during the day, and generally keeping out of sight of the rest of the house's inhabitants. She is hesitant of interacting with others (especially Rowena, the newest guest) and still sees herself as other. By then end, she has grown to accept herself and has become much, much more confident in her unique abilities!

Braeden also has the chance to come into his own in this second installment. In the first book we get the sense that he is a lover of animals and communicates with them perhaps more easily than with humans. This time around we get to see him fully understand his gifts while seeing his friendship with Serafina develop. I love these two together! While they seem to be from two totally different worlds in the beginning, their relationship really becomes something special and kind of adorable.

When I found out about this book I wondered what the new Big Bad would be and how it would fit in after the Man in the Black Cloak. I was a little worried that the story wouldn't be quite as good as the first, but it was awesome! Robert Beatty has created yet another unique and terrifying villain. While this is middle grade, I would say it's the upper end of middle grade and contains some frightening scenes and imagery... and I loved it!

My one issue with the story was that there were certain things that seemed to have been intended as twists or revelations that were extremely predictable and not surprising at all. Then again, if I was reading this as a child, there's a much better chance I would have been taken by surprise? I just don't think that one or two of the reveals was quite as exciting as they were intended to be. Still, there were a couple that shocked even me, which I really appreciate in a book!

Once again, the Biltmore and it's surrounding landscapes made fantastic settings for this book. It's very obvious that Robert Beatty knows what he's talking about and has done his homework when it comes to Biltmore! I enjoyed getting to discover even more locations than I did in the first book.

Serafina and the Twisted Staff is a fantastic addition to Serafina's story. I'm not sure if there are any current plans for a third book, but it seemed like this one ended in such a way that another book would possible. I really hope to get the chance to see what happens next and I'd definitely recommend this one to those who enjoy middle grade fantasy with a bit of a thrill!

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
July 3, 2016
I am privileged to have received an advanced reader copy of a captivating new book entitled Serafina and the Twisted Staff, which was written by author Robert Beatty. This fast paced mystery book is the second one in a series about a young girl whose existence has been kept a secret by her pa who lives in the basement of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. By creating his story as historical fiction, the author places the reader into the elegant 1899 lifestyle of the Vanderbilts who live at their elaborately decorated Biltmore mansion. He skillfully weaves local history into a suspenseful tale that shocks, as well as excites both the middle school students it is recommended for and all of the adults who can't get enough of this delightful story! The richness of the language used by Mr. Beatty is impressive and often borders on poetic. The author's vivid descriptions added to the excellent and respectful use of regional dialect allows readers to easily sense and visualize exactly what happens as Serafina and her friend Braeden Vanderbilt sneak around to investigate mysterious houseguests and search for clues about the dangerous things that have been taking place. This unlikely friendship grows as the two explore Biltmore and the surrounding forests and battle powerful evil threats as they solve the spooky, rather complex mystery. In the first book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, Serafina aches to understand why her pa had been hiding her for the first 12 years of her life. Throughout the second book, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, this young protagonist is pulled toward her destiny as she continues to grapple with loyalty decisions and finds even more surprising discoveries about her own origins. Though Serafina is exhausted from dealing with the Man in the Black Cloak in the first book, she is immediately drawn into a new and very serious threat that involves both the Biltmore Estate and the people and animals she is trying to protect there. The depth of the language, multiple understories, and wisdom woven into the complex plot make this an exciting read!

As a 5th grade teacher in departmentalized English classrooms, I recently used both books as high interest mentor texts to help my students prepare for Virginia’s high stakes tests. The text of both books offered many possibilities for correlation to the Virginia standards and the local pacing guides for teachers. My students absolutely loved that I read the Serafina books orally as we reviewed story structure, characterization, figurative language, genre, point of view, and use of context clues! As the heroine of the series, Serafina is strong and courageous. She offers appealing characteristics and is a good role model of perseverance, friendship, and loyalty. Thank you, Mr. Beatty, for writing pure enjoyment for your readers!

Linda Woodward,
Jonesville, Virginia



Profile Image for BLynne.
166 reviews15 followers
May 12, 2020
Serafina and Braydon find themselves against a familiar foe, but with a helper who was not expected. Serafina is able to come to terms with her identity and starts to accept herself through her changes. I found this book to be entertaining and a fun read.
Profile Image for Aida.
214 reviews16 followers
January 13, 2023
پایان: ۱۴۰۱/۱۰/۲۳

این کتاب خوندش واسه من یک مفهوم دیگه‌ای داره زمانی که این کتاب رو خوندم، دومین کتابی بود که خریدم و خوندم و عاشق کتاب‌ها شدم.
این کتاب خوندش خیلی حس خوبی داشت و تموم اون روزها رو واسم زنده کرد.

خب! درمورد خود کتاب!
داستان بسیار مرموز و هر وقت فکر کنید اع میدونم چی شد اشتباه فکر کردین!
داستان اولش واسم یکم کسل کننده بود با اینکه خوب و روند هیجانی داشت، بعدش خیلی جالب شد، حدس‌های من بعضی‌ جاها درست بود ولی بعضی جاها نه.
ترجمه‌ی خوب و روونی داشت درکل عالی بود.
یکی از بدی‌های نشر پرتقال اینکه ترجمه بسیارررر دیر به دیر میشه و اصلا نمیگه که مجموعه هست!
اون زمان اصلا روحم خبر نداشتم که این یه مجموعه هست و واسم کلییی هم سوال مونده بود توی ذهنم.
Profile Image for Heidi.
2,648 reviews53 followers
July 30, 2016
Robert Beatty has created a compelling sequel that more than lives up to the first book. The action takes off in the first chapter and never really lets up (although Serafina has a few quieter moments they are few and far between). Just as Serafina is coming to terms with her shapeshifting abilities and is trying to figure out where she belongs: Biltmore or the forest. While wandering the forest one night she observes a strange carriage pulled by four wildlike stallion that drops off a strange man and his wolfhounds. She nearly dies when the wolfhounds attack her. Only with the help of her catamount mother and a feral boy does she manage to escape and return to Biltmore. But she is left with concerns about the person in the carriage that she didn´t see that is now at Biltmore intending harm.

But an awful series of events sends Serafina fleeing into the forest where she discovers that things are even worse than she thought. Only by finding a way to harness her own abilities and rallying her friends to her side can she find a way to defeat the evil that seeks to take over the whole region. The strange behavior of the animals complicates things as does the arrival of a Detective seeking to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Thorne (see book 1).

I found the book compelling and fascinating with lots of twists and turns, especially at the end. This is the sort of book that I love to hand to children who like scary/suspenseful stories that are well told and don´t follow overdone tropes. The underlying themes of the choices people make, and finding oneś way to peace within and well done and not overly preachy at all. Serafinaś efforts to protect the people and places she loves shines through loud and clear, but her struggles with fear and shame feel very real. A great sequel that I will hand to students with great pleasure.
4 reviews
May 14, 2016
No Spoilers
I received an ARC and promised to give an honest review.

Serafina and the Twisted Staff is a middle grade mystery, adventure novel by Robert Beatty.
The action is fast-paced and grabs the reader's attention immediately. The setting is Biltmore Estate and the surrounding mountains of North Carolina. It's the perfect setting for the sinister goings on. Serafina is a 12 yr old trying to find her place in the world. I LOVE that she is a strong female character. The other characters in the book are very like-able except, of course, for the villain(s). They are exactly as villain(s) should be; evil and downright scary! Even as this book takes you on an adventure with a mystery to solve, it teaches you about loss, family, friendship and loyalty and the ability to be more than one thing.
Mr. Beatty provides the reader with only a certain amount of story resolution while still hinting at some unanswered questions and a bit of a cliffhanger. I can't wait to read what happens in book #3!
Profile Image for Melanie Dulaney.
1,375 reviews66 followers
July 14, 2017
It is difficult for many sequels to live up to the excitement of a book 1, but in "Twisted Staff," Robert Beatty delivers another winner! Serafina continues to be an admirable, adventurous young girl with surprising abilities and in book 2, Braeden's character is more fully developed and allows for a secondary storyline to unfold. Students in grades 4 and up will love the mystical qualities that abound and, without being aware, will be immersed in the history of the era. Even adults should be able to appreciate this solid, scary story that does not have to resort to the shock and awe and blood-letting of other books in the genre. Teachers should be able to use this book in literature groups easily as the characters are diverse and clearly described and concepts of conflict and cause/effect abound. Love, love this book and am hopeful that a book 3 is quick in coming.
3 reviews
May 10, 2016
My mother and I are on the SART (Serafina Advanced Readers Team). I am 13 years old and I thought the first book was fantastic. I love to read and I enjoy going to the Biltmore House. Of course, I had to read the book first! Here is my review without spoilers...

Serafina and the Twisted Staff is a wonderful book! There are some intense moments right from the beginning. The first two chapters draw you in and you can't stop reading. The story also shows compassion & friendship between both old characters and new ones. My favorite character is Braeden. It has a surprise twist at the very end that I did not expect. I can't wait to read the third installment in the series!
Profile Image for Courtney.
35 reviews8 followers
June 6, 2016
I can't say enough good things about this series. I loved every second spent reading this wonderful magical story.
Profile Image for We Are All Mad Here.
504 reviews38 followers
July 28, 2021
A lot of the fun of Serafina #1 was lost in this one, mainly because roughly 50% of the book is either a chase scene or a mauling scene. Serafina is bitten and clawed so frequently, by such a variety of animals and rodents, that surely she should have been dead before page 100. Many of these scenes went on for way too long. One does become rather desensitized when a heart-pounding action sequence drags on for 15 pages past its peak.

Also - either Serafina or the author can't seem to decide how she naturally speaks. With almost anyone aside from her father, there's nothing notable about the words she uses or the sentences she uses them in. For example: "What? ... How could all this be true? My mother did not tell me any of this."

There, she doesn't even get so informal as to use a contraction. But when she speaks to her father: "I'm with ya, Pa. No confrontin'."

I started this review with 3 stars, but then realized I couldn't think of anything I particularly liked about it, so, down to 2. On to the next anyway with high hopes for a big decrease in dog bites.
Profile Image for Ayeh.
93 reviews17 followers
April 11, 2022
بچه‌تر که بودم حقیقتا با جلد اول این مجموعه آبسِسد بودم. الان حس می‌کنم برای اون سن بیش از حد دارکه ولی همچنان یکی از جذاب‌ترین چیزهایی بود که می‌تونستم توی زندگیم پیدا کنم‌. خلاصه که برگشتنِ دوباره به اون فضا خیلی جالب بود.
پ.ن: چقدر رابرت بیتی خوب طبیعت و جنگل رو توصیف می‌کنه، با همه‌ی زیبایی و تاریکیش. :(((
پ.ن۲: ولی من از وقتی که فهمیدم کلیت فضای داستان واقعیه و عمارت بیلتمور واقعا وجود داره دیگه اون آدم قبلی نشدم.

پ.ن۳: از متنِ کتاب:

" گاهی به نظرش می‌آمد تمام دنیا از نور درست شده: نور ماه که لابه‌لای ابرها می‌تابید، سوسوی سبز شاپرک‌های ماه، نور نقره‌ای نیمه‌شب که روی رودخانه می‌افتاد، پرتو آبی سحرگاه و حالا درخشش آفتاب روی دیواری از جنس باران. البته که بدون تاریکی نوری وجود نداشت؛ بدون سنگ هم آبشاری نبود. "

" توی غار که رفت، دید دیوار عقبی را سنگ آمیتیس بنفش پررنگی پوشانده. وقتی رو به جهتی که از آن آمده بود چرخید و از دهانه‌ی آبشار بیرون را نگاه کرد، زیباترین پدیده‌ی عالم را دید. از میان مهی که از آبشار بلند می‌شد، آفتاب می‌تابید و سرتاسر ورودی غار رنگین‌کمان درست می‌کرد. "
June 19, 2017
This is post originally on Vivian's Book Pavilion

So…at the second day of my summer vocation, I devoured my second ARC. Perfect! I can see how I’m going to spend my entire summer vocation. I’ll pass my whole summer like that. Yeah!!!!! Now…Serafina and the Twisted Staff? Robert Beatty has done it again! This book is even better than the first one. I love book series that are getting better!!! There shouldn’t be something that called “second book slump!” I enjoy every moment of this book this time and can find nothing to complain…well…only a little? But…if Serafina and the Black Cloak is 3.5 stars (I originally rate 3.8), Serafina and the Twisted Staff will be 3.9.

I really enjoy Serafina’s journey this time, the plot is less predictable and more thrilling. I especially love the inner struggle of Serafina…oh come on! Who don’t like a good inner struggle? We all love to see the character being tortured and than back to tortured our heart. It’s a never ending circle. My heart twisted so hard when some bitches shouted at her that she didn’t belong in the Biltmore House and Braeden didn’t stand to defend her. My tears almost stream down…almost. And I love the reunion with her mother…the mountain lion. Oh how I’ll love to be a catamount!!!! It sound soooo nice to be able to change into an enormous cat! However, I hope there will be more struggle on how Serafina tried to change herself into a cat…but I guess that isn’t the point? Otherwise the book won’t be 300 pages.

I love how the book is connected to the first one, it isn’t just a new task or new adventure…but with something related inside. Remember the sorcerer of the Black Cloak? In the first book, we readers originally thought he wanted to destroy it and fail. However, there are truth lies beneath the tales. The ugly guy actually wanted to own the power himself and come for revenge. Sort of. They’re…connected? But with different purposes. The Black Cloak isn’t going to come alive again…at least I hope? Besides the better plot, I really love how more complicated situations are put into the book as well, so the story will be less predictable. The story isn’t just a straight line now, but connected with the pass, the current and the future. Especially with some interesting characters. Although they’re not “that” surprise to readers who read thousand books happened with this kind of topic, but it serve a good purpose for the middle-grade. Never judge the book by its cover…although I think you can judge Serafina and the Twisted Staff by its cover! It’s beautiful!

I received the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
7 reviews
July 6, 2016
Hiya!!! My name is Natalie. I am 10 years old and I was asked to read and review this book. I think this book is very exciting and amazing, just like the first one. I love this book so much, it is very detailed and cool. If there were a awesome club of books, this book would be the the president! I can easily compare this series to the Harry Potter series and say that they have MANY of the same traits. It is full of surprises. Spoiler! When Lady Rowena turns out to be the bad person, I went crazy!!! I knew there was something wrong with her! This series is totally my GO TO series! Robert Beatty made very good efforts studying and learning about the Biltmore house and people, and animals Its a really great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<3

Review by reviewer above's mother:
I really enjoyed this book but not quite as much as the first one. Perhaps that's because I already knew of the wonderful imagination of Beatty and how he brought Serafina's world to life from the Black Cloak novel. I picked up this book in the morning and had finished it by the evening because I grabbed it during every free moment (or hour) of my day. I felt that the action was so intense during this story that it didn't have the complexity of character that the first novel did. It was dark and scary from the very beginning, in an engaging and believable way, not in any gratuitous manner. I know that these books are going to be movies and I could envision some of the scenes in my head as I read them. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and am enjoying learning about the Vanderbilts and Biltmore Estate in these compelling books. Thanks to Beattie for bringing a wonderful young hero to life and for enriching my enjoyment of the Biltmore Estate and our local mountains.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mango.
215 reviews306 followers
January 23, 2021
This book was absolutely amazing! I was not disappointed at all. I'm loving this series.

The character development in this books was just as good as the previous book. Even though Serafina was respected and treated as a hero, she did not completely belong with the humans or the catamounts. As a result, she felt lonely. Then a horrible incident occurred which made her feel like even more of an outsider. However, despite this, you could sense her courage and throughout the book she improved herself and her social interaction. It was amazing to see her grow once again but in a different way.

The plot. Oh my God. I absolutely loved it! The author brought in so many characters, and Beatty made you feel as if you know who the culprit is, but then changed it to another character when you least expect it. I love the author's descriptive writing. I have mentioned this before, but I really like writing which helps you visualize the situation, and Beatty does it nicely.

Thank you Robert Beatty and I am looking forward to reading Serafina and the Splintered Heart!
Profile Image for Aimee.
4 reviews
September 20, 2021
Robert Beatty lures readers deep into the Blue Ridge Mountains in Serafina and the Twisted Staff, a spellbinding fantasy steeped in the history of Western North Carolina. In this captivating sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak, Beatty spins an enchanting yarn in which legendary figures, magically gifted humans, and chimerical beasts mingle with memories of a nascent Asheville and Appalachian lore. As the tale unfolds, our heroine hones her skills as a creature of the night, roaming ever further afield into the wilds beyond the cultivated grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Even as she does so, Serafina’s friendship with Braeden Vanderbilt blossoms, and she is drawn into Biltmore’s elaborate gardens and sophisticated banquet halls. Now a fearsome darkness threatens both of Serafina’s worlds. While wolfhounds hunt and owls screech, eerie men roam the forests and stalk the corridors. Like any adolescent, Serafina grapples with her developing sense of self as she faces new enemies, yet her fierce determination and natural prowess enable her to protect those she holds dear. Young readers will appreciate the story’s fast pace, twists and turns, and vivid descriptions. Educators will applaud the strong characters and historical connections.
Profile Image for Candice.
348 reviews7 followers
May 4, 2016
*I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. Here it is:

Robert Beatty has done it again! This book was packed full of adventure from the beginning. Since the defeat of Mr. Thorne and the Black Cloak, Serafina has been able to come out into public at the Biltmore House. She can wander the corridors as she pleases and can still spend time with her partner in crime, Master Braeden Vanderbilt. You don't get far into the book before Serafina realizes that something is amiss. She and Braeden team up again to try to defeat an evil presence at Biltmore. It is an adventure that you should not miss reading!
Profile Image for Kayla Edwards.
458 reviews32 followers
July 27, 2016
Robert Beatty has done it again. Continuing series books do not usually surpass the first for me, but Serafina and the Twisted Staff has definitely become my favorite book of the series thus far. I am so impressed by the author's ability to capture the real spirit of Biltmore Estate in a work of fantasy and dark magic. I absolutely love Serafina and her struggle to find her identity between both of her worlds.

Readers of all ages will love this book - the suspense will keep even the most reluctant readers glued to the page. This book is also a wonderful read-aloud. I will definitely be putting copies in my middle school library as well as requesting copies for my local public library!
Profile Image for Kateryna.
481 reviews85 followers
August 29, 2017
Serafina and the Black Cloak was the best children's books I read last year. For some reason I didn't love the second book as much as the first one. It was very slow, for two-thirds of the novel nothing happened at all, and it drug on for me forever. I struggled to connect with the characters and the story throughout. I kept picking it up and reading a few pages and then putting it down. The twisted staff was described very poorly and I had a very little understanding of what it actually was. Overall, I'm not especially interested in picking up the third book now.
97 reviews18 followers
April 6, 2021
Отново ми се случи. Не знам защо но в началото ми се струват леко мудни, минава 100 стр. и след това не може да откъснеш поглед от книгата. Мисля че ми хареса малко повече от предишната, което да ми го бяхте казали пак нямаше да повярвам. Една прекрасна книга с един прекрасен финал оставящ ни да чака ме продължението.
Profile Image for Kim Friant.
658 reviews111 followers
September 21, 2019
5 Stars—A wonderful book!! The Biltmore House is such a beautiful setting and you can feel the characters' emotions emanating from the page!!! I finished in tears and I can only hope another book is in the works!!
Profile Image for Evelyn Evertsen-Romp.
1,238 reviews63 followers
December 23, 2017
vandaag kocht een meneer It van Stephen King bij me.
ik: "dat boek durf ik niet te lezen hoor, veel te eng!"
meneer: "ach het is toch maar een boek"
ik: "ik heb vannacht niet durven slapen vanwege een boek dat bedoeld is voor kinderen vanaf 10 jaar"
*meneer loopt in verwarring gebracht weg*

Maargoed, ik had het dus over dit boek. zo gaaf, zo spannend, zo ontroerend, zo nieuw. het is perfect voor lezers van Lockwood en co, maar natuurlijk niet net zo goed, want net zo goed als Lockwood en co is bijna onmogelijk.

wow Serafina, ik ben hartstikke dol op je!
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