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The Clockwork Crow

(The Clockwork Crow #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  697 ratings  ·  176 reviews
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 spo ...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Firefly Press Ltd
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  697 ratings  ·  176 reviews

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Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Christi M
Orphan Seren Rees is being sent to a new home. Her father’s oldest friend and his family has offered to keep her and now all she needed was to board the train. But while at the train station she meets a man who gets a little nervous when he hears a strange noise. Before he goes to check it out he makes her promise to watch over a package. But then he never comes back. To keep her promise she takes the package with her to her new home.

When she arrives the family who had promised to keep her is no
Belles Middle Grade Library
I really loved this! I saw this listed as a Christmas read, so immediately added it to my Christmas reads. It’s set at Christmas time. This was so atmospheric & great. Such a quick read too, couldn’t put it down. Seren is an orphan on her way to live w/her godfather. At the train station she is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger. She gets to her new home & it’s not at all like she daydreamed it would be. Her godfather & his wife are away, & the house is full of sadness, darkness, & a mystery ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this cozy, spooky read which has all the classical elements you want in a children's book. Dark magic and mystery abounds in a frosty, snowbound landscape, making it a perfect read for this time of year in particular. I finished it on the winter solstice which is perfect timing even if I do say so myself :) ...more
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by NetGalley

I was instantly enchanted by the cover of The Clockwork Crow. The snowy feel of the mansion at Christmas time, a little curious about the snowglobe in the boy's hand, and the blue snowglobe shape in the bottom half of the cover. I also adore stories set in old mansions, envisioning exploring all the nooks and crannies. The premise of a boy stolen by fairies was also very intriguing and reminded me of The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver. Both stories take the main character
Sarah B
Last year I read a book at the beginning of the year that had a winter scene on the front cover and I wanted to do the same thing this year. And I chose another children's book. This one just caught my eye and I had to order it from the library. I'm glad I did because it turned out to be a good story.

This is a fantasy that revolves around a young girl who lived for many years in an orphanage and she finally went to live with her godfather in a big mansion. On the way there (by train) a mysteriou
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a charming and engaging book this is. I read it in one sitting and immediately ordered book 2 in this new series. Like the Secret garden meets Frozen, with a likeable orphan girl as the heroine and a cranky clockwork crow as the hero. Childrens historical fiction which is accessible to all ages, beautifully written and a real page turner.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Seren is headed to a new home at a mansion in the country. On the way, she is given a package to hold for a nervous stranger, but the stranger never returns, and she has to keep the package. When she arrives at the mansion, she is bewildered to find the family is gone and there are only servants there. Seren decides to open the package and inside is a grumpy mechanical and magical crow.

But where is the family, especially the little boy in the family? There are rumors he has been taken off by th
***4 STARS!***

THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN! I can totally see this being made into a movie. I really enjoyed the cozy aspect of this and it truly is a perfect winter read. I love the Victorian era so this gets extra points for taking place during that time and also having fantasy elements, which make it even better. Just like with my previous read "The Jumbies" this is also a book that reads like a standalone but has two more books after. I do not feel the need to read on with those so I'm fine with thi
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The start of a series featuring the intelligent, questioning heroine Seren in a world that's a mixture of Victorian England (well, Wales), magic and folk tales, this book reminded me strongly of the books I read over and over as a child, particularly A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

I liked the mystery aspect of the story, Seren arriving to a house she expected to be grand and inviting, filled with family, and finding that her godfather and his wife had gone to London, with no explan
Carrie ReadingtoKnow
I feel like I do such a great job (usually) at picking books I love and that I can give 5 stars to but I just can't bring myself to it on this one. Which is a shame because it started out full of wonder and magic! Set in Wales, a place our family just visited for the first time last year, this book opened up by setting the stage for a wonderful mystery. It seemed to breathe brilliance. I read it aloud to my kids, aged 6 to 14, and we had high hopes as we dove in. However, the further along we mo ...more
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
E-Arc provided by the publisher via netgalley.

This really was quite the fairytale. It was a little slow going for me to start but once you were embedded in the story and the characters I really did enjoy my time at the Plas-y-Fran.

Following Seren on her adventure with the clockwork crow in search of Tomas kept me entertained and I think children will love it. I am looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the series and will purchase this ASAP.

3.5 stars but I'm going to round up to 4 and it d
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very cute and charming little story that almost feels traditional. Seren finds herself living in an empty mansion, 'adopted' by an absent family. There is a locked nursery, a missing boy, a strange bell in the night, and of course a clockwork crow. And all of this is set in the week before Christmas with a big snow storm raging outside. The atmosphere is spot on.

I liked Seren. She is brave and curious. Growing up as an orphan has made her humble and grateful, not luckily not overly so
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?! :) ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CLM by: Charlotte Taylor
This is a charming story but written for a younger audience than I had anticipated - I had bought it for the 13-year-old niece's birthday but it is more suitable for the 9-year-old. Luckily, Christmas is coming! ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I feel like all my reviews lately start with some "by the way I'm still not able to function as a normal reader," but you know what? This is literally written for like 3rd graders and as a somewhat-adult I can do 3rd grade.

So: I don't know what a kid would think of this book but as a permanently exhausted pidgeon with a severe case of the 2020s I am here to yell about how good I thought it was, why you should also be reading kids' books right now, and otherwise stir up the book recommen
Rose English
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Book 125 of my Goodreads Challenge 2019

A wonderful seasonal treat

What exciting times lay ahead for orphan Seren. She is leaving the orphanage to go live with her Godfather in Wales. The journey is cold and long but not without its own excitement. A strange tall thin man leaving a broken clockwork toy wrapped in newspaper in her care.

Seren's new home when she arrives is bigger than expected yet it is shrouded in sadness.Her new family are not even n residence and what happened to their son Tomos?
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written and interesting story that is fast paced and has great dialogue. I read this book in one sitting.
It would be a good book to read to a child at bedtime. The only problem will be that your child may not want you to stop reading and go to sleep.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Ashley Lambert-Maberly
Pleasant, but unremarkable. Characters not particularly exciting (my favourite, panicked thin man, is there early and late and that's about it). Otherwise you get mean housekeeper, assorted staff, protagonist no different from any other bland viewpoint character in middle school fiction, etc. The clockwork crow makes very little sense (clockwork implies making, but it's the result of a spell--like some sort of unpleasant Morroccan / Japanese fusion dish that doesn't work).

Various little things
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
Rebecca Rouillard
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An advance reading copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Candlewick Press via NetGalley in return for my honest review.

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher is a lovely pre/early teen, children's novel, full of mystery and suspense, coupled with the magic and traditional feel of the classics I grew up with.

The story follows young orphan girl Rees, who is being sent to live with her father's oldest friend and his family.
Whilst awaiting to board the train to her new home, Rees meets a
Cheshta Choudhury (bookbeliever)
This was just the kind of book I needed to read right now when I'm stressing out because of exams!

The book is centred around Seren Rhys, an orphan who has been recently adopted by her godfather, Captain Jones because of her great aunt's death. She is to go to Plas-y-Fran to live with his family who are supposed to be quite well off. However, she has a thrilling encounter with a stranger on the station of departure who leaves a parcel behind, asking her to take care of it until he returns, excep
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part whimsical fairy tale and part adventure story, The Clockwork Crow follows a curious and imaginative orphan as she embarks on a journey to rescue her new brother. I really enjoyed seeing how Seren Rhys reacted to the challenges and obstacles she faced along the way. She was an interesting protagonist, and though quite strong-willed at times, was both brave and resourceful. The hopes and dreams she secretly harboured, especially those concerning her new family, were heartfelt and sweet, and ...more
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Seren is waiting for the train to bring her to her extended family. Her parents died and now she is supposed to live at her godfather's in Wales. While waiting for the train she is approached by a stranger who asks her to take care of a wrapped parcel.

When she arrives in Wales she is all alone. The servants in the mysterious manor won't talk to her about the family living there. They tolerate her presence but otherwise Seren is left to her own devices. She explores the house and, of course, ope
Joey Susan
This was so much fun to read. I loved this story of Seren getting this new start in her life and by chance ends up with the Clockwork Crow and instantly as she knew something was up with Tomos she had to find him and bring the house back to life.

I enjoyed the characters they are so well written and so interesting, I loved that Seren didn’t know Tomos at all but yet was still desperate and willing to do anything to find him and bring him home. She had it rough at that dark cold home, but she was
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like a breath of fresh air from my childhood! A highly atmospheric novel that I would suggest reading around the winter to fully experience the setting.

Our young protagonist Seren is sent off to live with her Godparents in the country. On her way, she encounters a stranger at the train station who hands her a package that houses a mechanical crow. Why did she receive this strange package? After her arrival at the new home Seren realizes not everything in the house is as it seems,
As Seren waits for her train to arrive, she's surprised to notice a thin, scared-looking man holding a paper-wrapped package. When the man leaves to investigate sounds he hears outside, he asks Seren to watch the package. When he doesn't return she takes the package with her to her new home in the Welch countryside. As an orphan, she's been dreaming about what her new home will be like, but she's shocked when she realizes the conditions under which she is expected to live. The manor house is mos ...more
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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

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