Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2)

Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2)

4.9 20
by Robert Beatty
     
 

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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 cat amount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal

Overview

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 cat amount. 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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


.—.

School Library Journal
07/01/2016
Gr 5–7—Serafina's tale picks up just three weeks after the defeat of "the man in the black cloak." Serafina would like to settle into a comfortable existence at Biltmore House as Chief Rat Catcher, especially now that the Vanderbilts have accepted her role in their household. She wants to please her father and spend time with her best friend, Braeden. Her plans are thwarted when Lady Rowena Fox-Pemberton visits the estate. Serafina cannot stand Rowena's snooty ways but is pleasantly surprised when the Lady bravely helps out when mysterious events recur at Biltmore. Many new characters are introduced, such as Mr. Grathan, a guest of Mr. Vanderbilt claiming to be a detective, and Essie, a helpful maid. Serafina's backstory is fleshed out, and readers will relish learning more about her strange origins, including the identity of her father. As in the first novel, the narrative gracefully blends the majestic history of Biltmore House with the ethereal beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains along with the deep-rooted superstition of mountain lore. Serafina's relationship with her catamount mother plays a stronger role this time. The characterization is solid, and the powerful imagery that made the first installment such a success is more consistent here. Readers who enjoyed the first novel will not be disappointed in this continuation and will anxiously await the next exciting adventure. VERDICT Eerie gothic imagery, a ferociously scrappy heroine, and an elegant setting combine seamlessly to create a captivating mystery that will be well received by fans.—Julie Shatterly, W.A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-05-04
Triumphant after her defeat of the Man in the titular Black Cloak in her 2015 debut, Serafina cannot rest on her laurels for long: a new, mysterious evil force has entered the woods and set its sights on the Biltmore Estate.Serafina has slipped into a comfortable routine at Biltmore. The odd-looking girl learns the ways of catamounts from her shape-shifting momma while continuing her cozy home life with her white adoptive pa, enjoys friendship with Braeden Vanderbilt, and maintains a vermin-free environment as Chief Rat Catcher. Suddenly, as a new terror surfaces in the woods, three strangers appear: a snooty British girl named Lady Rowena Fox-Pemberton, the scarred investigator Detective Grathan, and a terrifying gray-bearded man with a twisted staff. On the mountain, all the birds have fled, other animals have gone missing, and sticky black pinesap oozes from the trees. While Mr. Vanderbilt cooperates with Detective Grathan and Braeden entertains Lady Rowena, Serafina must unravel the mystery before all the animals disappear. Beatty delivers an action-packed, suspenseful, emotionally resonant sequel. Serafina's resilience and determination inspire and rally the other characters. Beatty continues to build a fascinating magical world, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Biltmore Estate developing beyond mere settings into characters themselves. Each place reveals history and clues to Serafina's life and those of other gifted, mysterious beings.Even better than its predecessor, a sequel that delivers nonstop thrills from beginning to end. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781484775035
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
07/12/2016
Series:
Disney's Serafina Series , #2
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
999
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Robert Beatty lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives he was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the CTO and chairman of Narrative magazine.

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Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
nhr3bookcrazyNR 3 months ago
I had loved the first book and truly enjoyed the second book, too, but I kept thinking it was really DARK and creepy at times. I love the setting of Biltmore Estate/Grounds. Very different and imaginative. But very, very dark at times. Definitely keeps you interested and wondering what's going to happen.
KaylaEdwards 5 months ago
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!
GrandmaKaye 6 months ago
While Serafina gets used to her unusual abilities, she struggles with fitting in with her different sets of family and friends, just as other young people must adapt to their changing world as they go through their teenage years. Serafina, a catamount, encounters greater dangers, ventures farther away from home, and overcomes greater obstacles than most young teens. In her own way she is a superhero for the residents of the Biltmore Estate and those of the forested estate. I think that middle school students would enjoy seeing the world of the Biltmore Estate through Serafina’s eyes. I liked the appropriate and occasional usage of some local mountains dialect. Serafina isn’t always correct in her assessment of others, makes mistakes, and learns much in the process. I think that middle school students will understand and relate to her situation. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Biltmore Estate and want to go to Ashville, North Carolina to see it myself. I recommend Serafina and the Twisted Cane with the caution that the scene of dogs attacking Serafina might upset the youngest or very sensitive readers.
DWhitney 6 months ago
I like how the sequel picks up shortly after the last book left off. It takes you right back to Serafina's fantastical world in a historical setting. There is just enough history woven through the story to make one curious about how much of it is based on real people or events. I would really like to visit the Biltmore soon to see the places the author describes. There is also some clever foreshadowing along the way that keeps you guessing. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!
Brandon DeBruhl 7 months ago
Serafina's story of the Twisted Staff begins just three weeks after she and Braeden solve the mystery of the Black Cloak and defeats the man behind the disappearances occurring on the Estate. Now a different kind of evil has come to the grounds of Biltmore. Join Serafina again as she makes new friends and enemies, takes on new challenges and tries to find and understand her place in the world. Serafina and the Twisted Staff once again captures the magic, mysteries and history of the Biltmore Estate. As a native of the mountains in North Carolina, I greatly enjoyed seeing the diversity of the characters introduced in this book ranging from the upper class aristocracy to the local mountain folk of the Appalachians. Mr. Beatty's book truly captures the beauty of the lands and forests of the mountains surrounding Biltmore. If you have not yet done so, I recommend reading the first book of the series, Serafina and the Black Cloak, so that you may enjoy this story as well.
Miastar 7 months ago
I found this series last November, my family and I were planning a trip to Biltmore and Serafina and the Black Cloak came up in a search I did looking for books about Biltmore. I read the book straight through in one evening because I could not put it down! The writing/storytelling style took me back to my childhood, when my dad would tell me bedtime stories. Not only was the story thoroughly enjoyable I loved the insight that it gave into the house, reading the book and then touring the house made the story come alive even more. I applied for the SART (Serafina Advanced Reading Team) and was blessed with an advanced copy of the sequel. It's sequel, Serafina and the Twisted Staff took me on a magical journey back to Asheville, NC with characters that I love and a surprise twist that I never saw coming. In Black Cloak, Serafina discovered the mystery of who she was but as you'll read in Twisted Staff, she wasn't quite finished coming into her own. This book combines self-discovery with the power of friendship and the important life lesson of facing your problems and not running away from them. In Twisted Staff Serafina makes new friends, and enemies; meets with disaster and triumphs in the end; finds her own power, and recognizes the power of her friends. Robert Beatty is an absolute master of his craft combining fantasy with reality and fact with fiction. There's never a dull moment, and I truly felt that I was right there in the story and not just a subtle observer.
17439675 7 months ago
I absolutely love Serafina and the Twisted Staff! It is a fast-past adventure with plenty of mystery, intrigue, and action. The plot picks up quickly in the second chapter and continues throughout the entire book! I loved the first Serafina book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, and was honored to receive an Advanced Reader copy of Serafina and the Twisted Staff. Having the Biltmore House and Estate in Asheville, NC as the setting adds excitement and interest to the story. I highly recommend reading both Serafina books (grades 4th to Adult). I can hardly wait until the third one in the series is released!
JCov 7 months ago
I was on the advanced reading team for Robert Beatty's second Serafina novel and what an adventure! The story begins a few weeks after Serafina and the Black Cloak left off, and again something is not quite right at the Biltmore Estate. The action begins quickly, and the book was difficult to put down. Beatty did an excellent job developing the characters, both new and returning. As with the first Serafina, Beatty skillfully incorporates historical events and people into his narrative, which helps lend a realistic view on what life was like at Biltmore and the surrounding areas at the turn of the 20th century. Full of a wonderfully descriptive narrative, it is easy to envision the places Serafina experienced, from the bedrooms in the Biltmore house to the tall mountains of the Pisgah National Forest. A great read that both young adults and grown-ups will enjoy. I am anxiously awaiting to read about Serafina's next adventures!
Anonymous 7 months ago
I loved this book! I read the first last summer and was so excited when I got a chance to read the second book before the release date. I am so glad it is summer, so my mom let me stay up to read Serafina and the Twisted Staff- I couldn't stop reading it until the last page. I can't wait to visit the Biltmore Estate again- these books make me want to go there!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Another great read (for any age) and sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak! You will not be disappointed and you won't be able to put it down either....a total page turner for sure! Looking forward to #3!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Great sequel to Serafina and the Black Cloak. Rarely do I find a sequel as good as the first. I felt this book was even better than the first (and I LOVED the first in the series). Mr. Beatty does a fantastic job writing a book that is appropriate for young readers and adults. It is mysterious and suspenseful while bringing in the rich history of the Biltmore Estate. I can't wait for the third installment of the series.
Anonymous 7 months ago
This review written by my 10 year old daughter. I am honored to have received an advanced copy of Serafina and the Twisted Staff. I read and really enjoyed the first book Serafina and the Black Cloak. Serafina and the Twisted Staff is a great follow up to the defeat 3 weeks earlier of the man in the black cloak! The book is full of mystery and surprise and suspense, which kept me glued to the book. I learned a lot about the Biltmore House too. The best part is that it ends on a cliff hanger. I hope there is going to be a third book. The story just can't end now! Thanks for great interesting reading Mr Beatty.
BridgetEL 7 months ago
When I read the first Serafina book this year in seventh grade as a required reading for English class, I loved it! I finished it within a few days of receiving my copy because I couldn't put it down. When I heard that there was another book in the series, I was thrilled to continue journeying with Serafina, Braedan, Gidean, and all the occupants of the Biltmore Estates. The book began with the perfect entrance chapter that hooked you and doesn't let you go until the very last sentence of the book. I journeyed through secret passages in the Biltmore with Serafina and Braedan, scrambled through the dense briers of the woods, discovered dark areas of the woods, puzzled over strange behaviors of humans and animals, struggled with mixed-up feelings towards others, and even endured a table manners lesson. Serafina and the Twisted Staff is a mix of many different genres that when compiled together makes the story unforgettable! This book continued the character development from the first book with many of the same characters but with new twists and characteristics to add depth. Also in this book, we get to know some new characters that have more tricks up their sleeves than you would think. Even though Serafina and the Twisted Staff had twists and turns, surprises around every bend in the woods, new promises, and new characters, there was still enough continuity with the first book to be recognized as a sequel. But it offers a completely different plot enabling it to stand on its own as a truly enjoyable book.
JennBock 7 months ago
I received an advance copy of Serafina and the Twisted Staff and couldn't wait to read it. I had read the first book, Serafina and the Black Cloak and couldn't wait to see how our heroine learned to live with the new-found family knowledge she acquired at the end of that book. The Twisted Staff begins a couple of weeks after the end of the first book. Mr. Beatty introduces some interesting new characters, all of them likeable or at least relatable. The villains are wonderfully villainous and some twists (no pun intended) toward the end of the tale let us know not to judge a book by its cover! Serafina embraces both of her families and remains a strong young lady, despite doubts that so many girls of that age frequently have. I actually liked this book better than the first one. Maybe it was because I knew many of the characters already. Maybe it was more descriptions of the Biltmore House and its guests. Maybe it was because Mr. Beatty grabbed me from the first few pages with plenty of action and didn't let go until the end. This was a wonderful book and I would recommend it!
Anonymous 7 months ago
"Serafina and the Twisted Staff": book two is an exciting, and unpredictable historical mystery series set in the mountains of Western North Carolina and the Biltmore Estate in the late 1800's. The storyline does a magnificent job of connecting the reader to the struggles Serafina faces as she engages in the classic battle of good against evil. While facing her foes Serafina learns about herself, her relationships with friends and family, and her place in the world. She discovers her true identity and the truth of her heritage is revealed within the 'coming of age' elements of the tale. The geographically and historically accurate descriptions of the Appalachian mountains and the Biltmore Estate successfully transport the imaginations of young readers and enhances the knowledge of advanced readers providing an outstanding experience for all. "Serafina and the Twisted Staff" captures your interest in the first few pages, keeps a tight grip on your attention throughout, and resolves the important conflicts of the story, leaving wonderment about the endless possibilities for Serafina in future books. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the Serafina Advance Reading Team (SART) and found that Book Two, "Serafina and the Twisted Staff" boldly resolves many of the unanswered questions from Book One, but leaves the door wide open for Book Three. That is what makes a world class book series; anticipation and intrigue!
Anonymous 7 months ago
My daughter and I were so happy to receive and ARC!!! Serafina and the Twisted Staff was an excellent read. It didn't disappoint. It starts off just as intense as the first book with Serafina being chased. We loved how fast paced the book was. We didn't want it to end. Thanks Robert Beatty for writing an amazing book that both children and adults can enjoy.
EAGinWNC 7 months ago
I received an Advanced reader copy and was not disappointed. I think this book is better than the first one! I could not put it down. My 14 year old daughter read it in one afternoon and she agrees it is the best one yet. Very suspenseful! I was surprised near the end by a twist in who the characters really were. Living near Asheville, it was wonderful to read the story and be able to picture the Estate and the house as it is described. I appreciate the attention to the details and the bringing in history of the Estate and the Forestry connections. A great job describing the possible friendships and relationships with the real-life characters! Loved the story and the battle of good vs evil. Who wins? I won't tell but I am looking forward to the next book already!
MelonieH 7 months ago
I was honored to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review. WOW!! This book was amazing! It picks up a few weeks after the first book ended. It ties together nicely with the first book and we learn even more about the characters. Serafina continues to protect Biltmore from evil. Well written....I can picture myself at the Biltmore Estate where the novel is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina watching the story unfold. It makes me want to visit again and explore imagining Serafina there! It is fast paced and full of action, mystery and suspense. I was hooked from the first page. I can't wait to see more from Robert Beatty!!! I would recommend middle age thru adult to enjoy this book!
Chad Laster 7 months ago
Wow! If you thought book #1 was good, book #2 is Amazing! There is so much detail in this book that it would adapt very well to the Movie Screen!! Someone pick up the movies rights, quick!!! It continues the mystery, suspense, history, and thrills, just as book #1. Serafina's character seems simple, but her situations are dynamic and adventurous. As you read into book #2, has the Black Cloak returned or is there a new evil that lurks in the shadows? Regardless, Serafina makes a great protagonist and her cat-like curiosity allows her to discover many secrets. All the while, she continues to search for more answers and asks more questions. Many of chapters in Serafina and the Twisted Staff are like cliffhangers, developing suspense and leaving the reader wondering what will happen next. The author uses the 5 senses very well to create enormous details for the reader to envision the scenes unfolding in their minds. In some ways, we see that several characters, especially Serafina and the animals, using a "6th sense" that allows them to sense evil. Some tragedy has been added to book #2 also. (No Spoilers here, though :) This forces Serafina to soul search and make even more potential life altering decisions. As the plot thickens, will good or evil prevail? And, will everyone (both humans and beasts) make it to the resolution unscathed? I appreciate the author's use of local mountain slang within the book. It is not overdone. For example, Serafina's Pa mentions "Poke Sallet." For those not from the South, you may have to search for that one! Being from these same mountains, I understood all too well the mountain talk being used within the book. It's funny how folks, such as the author, who isn't originally from these mountains, have been able to pick up on such subtleties of the older Southern Appalachian speech. I also really appreciate the author's use of actual wildlife from the area, such as Luna Moths, Peregrine Falcons, Wolves, Mountain Lions, etc. I can tell that the author took great pride in getting the details right of the historical and wildlife details of the area. A++++ for a tremendous plot, full of suspense, thrills, mystery, history, and description!! (I also listened to the first 6 audio chapters on the sampler CD. The narrator is stunning!)
Kaits_Bookshelf 7 months ago
*Please note: if you have not read the first book, spoilers lie ahead! Please come back to this post after reading Serafina and the Black Cloak!* Serafina and the Twisted Staff picks up where the first book left off, three weeks after Serafina has defeated the Man in the Black Cloak. I enjoyed this timeline because I felt there was a lot of mystery still lingering at the end of the first book. For example, we now know the truth about Serafina’s mother – that she is a catamount! – but what exactly does that mean for Serafina? Will she continue to remain with her Pa at the Biltmore Estate or will she embrace a new life with her mother? Like the first book, the action and adventure start right away and kept me guessing and anxious to keep reading. In the Black Cloak, we got to know Serafina, but in the Twisted Staff, I felt like Serafina got to know herself. Now that she knows the truth about her mother and the Vanderbilts know the truth about her – that she exists! – she is no longer required to make herself invisible inside the house and is able to explore how it feels to be out in the open with everyone else. She finds herself questioning her friendship with Braeden while learning more about who she really is, all the while battling a new threat to the Biltmore Estate and its residents. Familiar characters such as Pa, Braeden, the Vanderbilts, and Serafina’s mother all make appearances, along with new characters who, without giving away any spoilers, keep us wondering if they are friend or foe. I was thrilled at the appearance of Frederick Law Olmstead in this book. Being a resident of Buffalo, New York, it was exciting to see the architect of our great city parks featured in such a unique adventure! This book, like the first, is an exciting mystery with a little magic mixed in and a nice twist at the end. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book or is looking for an adventure. I love that the ending of this book, again without giving away any spoilers, seemed to hint at another adventure to come. My fingers are crossed! My review: 5 out of 5 stars! https://kaitsbookshelf.com/