Why diversity matters at Christmas 03/12/20
The Wolf Princess
Publisher: Chicken House
Lonely schoolgirl Sophie has always had a strange yearning to visit Russia, but never expects her wish will come true - until an encounter with a mysterious visitor to her humdrum boarding school leads to an unexpected chance for her to travel there on a school trip. Together with two of her friends, she sets off for St Petersburg, but not long after they arrive, they find themselves on the wrong train, and are soon lost in an unknown and mysterious wilderness.
The three girls are rescued by the beautiful Princess Anna Volkonskaya, who whisks them away to her crumbling yet magnificent Winter Palace in the depths of the Russian countryside. But there's something rather odd about their rescuer, even as she intrigues them with tales of lost diamonds and her family's tragic past. What is really going on at the Winter Palace - and why exactly did the three girls end up there? As wolves howl in the forests outside, Sophie determines to discover the truth in a palace full of strange secrets.
Cathryn Constable has conjured up a nostalgic children's adventure story in the tradition of classic children's authors such as Eva Ibbotson in this, her first novel. There's a distinctly magical, fairy-tale feel to the narrative, complete with snow-covered Russian landscapes, the atmospheric Winter Palace, and plenty of mystery in store. An enchanting winter read that will particularly appeal to girls.