Hello, and happy Tuesday! Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill, and I am so excited to share my review of this amazing book with you all today. I loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon, another book by Kelly Barnhill, so when I saw that she was coming out with another book, I was thrilled. The Ogress and the Orphans came out today, March 8th, which means that it’s officially out in the world for everyone to read. Thanks so much to Algonquin Young Readers for the chance to read this one early, and with all that said, I’m going to get into my review of The Ogress and the Orphans, by Kelly Barnhill!
The Ogress and the Orphans
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: March 8th, 2022
Genre: Middle grade fantasy
*This review is spoiler free.*
A fantasy about the power of generosity and love, and how a community suffers when they disappear.
Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.
Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.
But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?
I received a digital advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions and my review.
The Ogress and the Orphans is a middle grade fantasy about the community in the town of Stone-in-the-Glen, the ogress who lives on the outskirts of town, and the orphans who live in the Orphan House in the town. And, most importantly, the book talks about what it means to be a neighbor, and how to pull a community back together after it has split apart, and after great tragedies.
The Ogress and the Orphans isn’t particularly long, but it has so many rich and beautifully written characters. From the orphans, the ogress, the mayor, the butcher, the cobbler’s wife and more, everyone in the book is full of depth, and are easily imaginable.
Kelly Barnhill also uses really beautiful imagery to describe the settings in the book. The Girl Who Drank the Moon, the other book from her that I’ve read, is similar in this sense. Barnhill just really brings the characters and the world she writes about to life, and when reading, you can really well see the events unfolding in front of you like they were really there.
The little details in the world of The Ogress and the Orphans are all there, and that’s what I feel really brings the world to life. The most obscure details about the history of ogres, or the language that crows speak… it’s all woven into the plot in really neat ways.
I also thought that the pacing of The Ogress and the Orphans was done really well. There aren’t really any parts that are particularly slow, but none that rush too much either. I think that the story of the mayor was also unfolded very well, and that fit in perfectly with all the subplots in the book that added to the richness of it.
The Ogress and the Orphans is a beautifully written middle grade fantasy with an important message about what can happen to a community after tragedy, and how a community can build itself back up.
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