Tuesday 16 January 2024

Rosie Frost & the Falcon Queen

Rosie Frost & the Falcon Queen by Geri Halliwell-Horner. Scholastic Australia 2023. Paperback 451 pages. ISBN 9781760269548. RRP $14.99

Reviewed by Debra Williams

Just who is Rosie Frost? That’s a question which comes increasingly to the fore in this YA adventure. 13-year-old Rosie has never felt that she fits in, but that she is left out. Targeted by classroom bullies, Rosie feels she is completely alone, except for her Mum, with whom she has a close bond. They have always been there for each other, and Rosie knows that when she is stressed, she can contact her mother by sending pineapple emojis to indicate how bad things are and Mum will come to her aid. 

Rosie’s world is abruptly turned upside down by a school visit from a police officer and a lawyer, who tell her that her mother has died suddenly: something Rosie believes to be a cruel joke. When her mother doesn’t answer her multiple emoji pleas, Rosie doesn’t know what is happening. She is whisked away by helicopter to a specialist boarding school, Heverbridge, in a remote location on Bloodstone Island, which is a sanctuary for endangered wildlife. The school has connections to ancient royalty, particularly Ann Boleyn and her daughter Elizabeth. Each year the school holds a gruelling competition known as the Falcon Queen Games, and only the toughest competitors make it through. When Rosie suspects that the endangered animals, and the island itself are under threat, she takes on the mantle of saving them, backed up by newly formed friendships. But not all is as it seems with some of them: indeed, who might be traitors in the midst?

Rosie uncovers some historical secrets along the way, as well as discovering the power she never knew existed within. Written by former Spice girl Geri Halliwell-Horner, this YA adventure is full of twists and turns, and is the first in a new adventure series. Suitable for ages 13+ years.

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