The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

Written by Tamzin Merchant, Illustrated by Paola Escobar, Publishing February 2021 by Puffin Books

Step into the world of the Makers, where cloaks, boots, gloves and hats can have an immediate effect on your emotions and attitude. The famed families of Makers are talented, magical and dedicated to their craft. They are also enemies of each other and cynical of their products, each family believing theirs are the best!

In Tamzin Merchant’s debut novel we step into Hatmaker House on the eve of some devastating news for the family. The youngest Hatmaker, Cordelia is at the centre of the storm whirling through the house. The famed Maker families are renowned across the city and their work is incredibly important so creating hats must continue though grief fills the house.

The workshop, alchemy room and shop are filled with ribbons, feathers and everything a hatmaker needs to create wonderful hats. However, these items need to be treated with respect and plenty of training in how to balance the key ingredients to create just the right emotion, attitude or strength for the wearer.

All of the Maker families have been asked to create peacemaker clothes for the Princess ahead of peace talks with France but when all the items are stolen, there is a hunt for the thief across the city, and talk of war between the two nations. Cordelia, head strong, determined and full of hope, rises to the challenge of catching the thief, along with forbidden friend Goose, and new friend Sam.

As in every great adventure there is courage, hope and an unwavering trust in friendship and family. There are also twists, turns and surprises! I was completely enchanted by The Hatmaker family and their amazing hats. I loved the sense of family and love and the devotion to friends shown throughout the book.

The illustrations by Paola Escobar are perfect for the story and although I read the book via Netgalley, I could appreciate how brilliant they are and will await for the physical copy to enjoy them further.

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