What an incredibly fast paced, intriguing story. I was engrossed in this book immediately, with mysterious reasons for orphans being pulled together, the disappearance of the sole survivor of a family tragedy, and a mansion full of secret cellars and doorways.
April is an orphan with full hope of the return of her mother, however at 12, it doesn’t seem as though she is coming back. After starting a fire in a museum April is given a new opportunity for a new life with Ms Nelson who runs the Winterborne Foundation. April meets four other orphans also living at the mansion.
Having a knack for discovering trouble, April makes a startling find one night while prowling about the house. The feared dead, disappeared sole survivor and heir to the fortune is alive and hiding in the cellars. Why won’t he come forward and claim his title? Why does he look like a vagrant and will he help April find her mother?
April, feeling a link to the Winterborne’s via a key left with her by her mother, is looking for answers and believes Gabriel to have them. A troubling night full of swords, secrets and introductions to the rest of the orphans, make the suspicions fall on to Uncle Evert. Could he be the one who killed his brother and countless others in order to claim the fortune for himself?
From the beginning of the book, there are twists and turns, and learning who to trust, and where to look for answers. You won’t be disappointed with this book. So much happens that I felt I needed to re-read parts to ensure I was keeping up. The orphans tackle the Uncle, save the heir but lose their guardian.
I love the character of April and the hope she holds in her heart, both for the return of her mother and in Gabriel doing the right thing. She is brave and true, someone for girls to look up to.
The ending leads perfectly into a series as another unknown character is seen running from the house after they all discover what the legacy of the key truly is.
I am already searching for the second’s release date as I can guarantee it will be added to my shopping basket!