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The Clockwork Crow

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Travelling to a new home with an unknown new family, orphan Seren Rees is shivering in a Victorian station waiting room, when she is given a mysterious newspaper parcel by a strange and frightened man, who then disappears. Reluctantly she takes it with her... But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, the ...more
Paperback, First edition, 192 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Firefly Press
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  167 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really cute and short middle grade read that feels more like the traditional stories of my childhood (the secret garden, a little princess) than more modern stories. It’s a really quick read too, which is always nice.

I liked the feel of the book, but the only downside of it being short was that we didn’t really get a feel for Seren. She’s strong and curious, but we don’t know enough about her motivations or even why she didn’t go to this godparent instead of the orphanage etc. I just wanted m
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet tale for children (young and old!) set in the Victorian era at Christmas time with more than a touch of magic and a grumpy, clockwork crow. What's not to like?! :)
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A magical wintry adventure, set in Victorian times. Has the feel of some of the old classics in the writing style, which gives it charm. It is quite short and so a quick read. However this means that it lacks some detail of characters and background, which was what stopped me giving it 5 stars.
Saying that I really enjoyed it and will be recommending it!
Naomi Forrest
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recently in reviews I've read, I've seen people complaining about children's books using the same formulas for storytelling. Generally, this is true; the orphan or downtrodden child who suffers adverse situations, faces the situation head on through this period of growth, comes out on top. It is not a bad thing when the writing is good and actually, the writing in The Clockwork Crow is outstanding.

This book brought back so many memories of my childhood and I was reminded of the greats, The Secre
Rebecca Rouillard
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming magical story for children about a lonely orphan called Seren, a cranky clockwork crow and a dangerous rescue mission.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Catherine Fisher's children's fantasy has many of those wonderful spooky Victorian and steampunk tropes parcelled up in one package: an orphan, mist-wreathed railway platforms, a tall dark stranger, a mysterious mansion with a fierce housekeeper, a talking automaton, a blizzard at Christmas and the ever-present threat of a dangerous fairy realm. Orphan Seren Rhys is travelling by train to Wales from London to be adopted by, she hopes, kindly relatives; instead she finds a depleted household with ...more
Stephen Connor
A wintry tale of adventure, magic and mystery, as Seren moves to an orphanage to live with Captain Jones, his wife, Lady Mair, and their son Tomos. They live in a world of opulence, with servants and gardeners and seamstresses and stable boys. Only, when Seren arrives, there is nobody there save Mrs Villiers and Denzil. They are tight-lipped in the whereabouts of the others, and Seren is suspicious.

Her suspicion grows as she finds a sidekick, given to her on her train journey - a package wrappe
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I saw The Clockwork Crow I knew I had to get a copy. It's everything I love - a Middle-Grade book set in Victorian times, full of fantasy and magic, and as a bonus, based in Wales. Once I had possession of the book I had to exercise some restraint not to start reading it immediately as I had other books that needed reading and reviewing first!

It was totally worth the wait. The Clockwork Crow is the story of one girl's determination to discover the mystery of Plas-y-Fran along
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Clockwork Crow is an enchanting Victorian adventure featuring an unlikely friendship between an orphaned girl and a mechanical bird.

When Seren Rees is sent to a Welsh countryside mansion to live a new life with estranged relatives, she dreams of the warmth and comfort her new family will bring, especially at Christmas time. Things do not turn out quite as she expects, starting with a mysterious package handed to her by a stranger at the train station on the way.

Seren finds that her new home
Anthony Burt
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most delicious, atmospheric, inventive, haunting and genuinely funny page-turning stories I've read in ages. It's written in beautifully sparse and involving language by the brilliant Catherine Fisher, so much so it leaves your imagination to happily sink into a world of Victorian-like wonder, fairies, dark mansions and weird goings-on. Oh and there's the sarcastic, brilliant wind-up clockwork crow too!

I don't often gush about books, but if you want that perfect, snappy winter
Mary Judy
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Fisher weaves a truly magical tale, filled with imagination; this is a perfect winters' tale filled with suspense and capturing the imagination. There is a sinister quality that is truly chilling. With perfect timing and a gift for storytelling, the reader is plunged into the deep end. The descriptions of place paint a vivid picture and you can almost feel the cold and taste the snow. The eerie magical happenings seep into your bones, giving the reader a full onslaught of feeling. To o ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A magical story of snow and stars by Catherine Fisher. The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a frost-bound Victorian country mansion. When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her? The Clockwork Crow is a gripping Chri ...more
Christina Reid
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love everything Catherine Fisher has written so had to read this!
This book reads like a classic, feeling familiar and warming like many books I read as a child. It reminded me of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase in feel. It was fast-paced, with Seren being thrown into a new place and a new adventure simply by happenstance. It is a brilliant adventure, with elements of folklore and character evoked masterfully in just a few lines.
My only niggle was that the book being so short meant that I was left
Jean Kirby
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good fantasy adventure but slightly disappointing as I felt that Catherine Fisher could have written a much better story with more description, a better developed plot and richer characters. It seemed as the book had been edited down to a skeleton of a story, presumably to allow younger readers to access it. The bare bones of a story wasn't enough for me. I read to the end but was disappointed by the basic quality of the writing.
Therefore, I think this is suitable for years 5 to 7 or
Little Green Teapot
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Clockwork Crow is a brilliantly told traditional children's story and I absolutely loved it. Aside from the fact that it's set in Wales(!), it was just a stunning tale of young orphan Seren who has been shipped off into the Welsh country to live with an unknown godfather. When she arrives, her adopted parents aren't there and the house staff are secretive and miserable. She finds out that the boy who lived there, Tomas, has been missing for a year so she tries to rescue him.

It's a short book
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A middle grade mystery set in Victorian times with a very strong and determined young female protagonist. The utterly sumptuous gold foiled cover drew me in and the writing more than matched up to its initial promise. Plenty of magic and suspense and there's a clockwork crow that needs to be assembled by young Seren, who is then shocked to discover that the crow talks. Fast paced, intriguing read.
Lauren Knapper
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one sitting. I was completely lost in the fantasy and adventure of the novel. The Clockwork Crow follows a young orphan, Seren, has she receives a mystery package whilst waiting for her train to take her to her Godfather’s family home. This is a wonderful Christmas read. It’s fast paced filled with excellent characters, a gripping mystery and an engaging plot. Fantastic read!
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful Victorian tale, told by Seren, an orphan sent to live with her godparents in a large house in the Welsh countryside. At the station she is given a strange parcel by a tall man - and in it she finds the clockwork crow. all is not what it seems at the house and Seren is desperate to solve the mystery - with her new friend - the cow.
Quick read
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, mg
This was an enchanting read, full of unique characters and suspense. The setting was magical, especially the descriptions of snow-covered landscape. I admired the heroines tenacity despite being in a rather dismal situation as an orphan being sent to her new home.
I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it very much.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: youth-fiction
I call this jumping on the clockwork bandwagon to no purpose. Just because you have a cool idea or two doesn't mean that you need to stretch them into a novel with a brattish protagonist and a few nods to books that have gone before.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really easy to read quick middle grade. I really liked our main character and the crow was great. I thought the book was well paced and gave just enough information to keep me going. I really hope there is a continuation as I'd love to find out more about the crow and his history.
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the characters, especially the rather grumpy crow.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book, read it in one sitting. Children aged 8+ will love it. can't wait to read more Catherine Fisher
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story. Set in Wales in Victoria Times. This one is going on the shopping list to buy for my nieces for Christmas.
Chris and Laura
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. So much emotion and mystery. 5 stars absolutely amazing!
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the last half of this book. The first half seemed a little too similar to The Secret Garden for me. Well written though and had a satisfying ending.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, ya-childrens
An orphan, an old Victorian house, a creepy housekeeper, unanswered questions, and mysterious goings-on. All the feels. A quick, fun, middle-grade read.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful children's book set in Wales about an adventurous orphan and a stubborn old crow.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
What a wonderful, magical, funny yet real fantasy. Utter bliss.
Kirsty Stanley
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, mg
4.5 stars
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Catherine Fisher was born in Newport, Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and a fascination for myth and history. She has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. She is a Fellow of the Welsh Academy.

Catherine is an acclaimed poet and novelist, regularly lecturing and giving readings to groups o