Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Unexpected Tale of the Bad Brothers by Clare Povey

Reading The Unexpected Tale of the Bad Brothers is like being back with old friends. Bastien, Theo, Alice and all the orphans care about each other so dearly. That kindness flows off the page and pulls the reader right into their gang. The addition of the fiery dancer Mathilde adds a new sense of feistiness and even more determination to fight for what is right.

Bastien is still living at the orphanage but now it is run by Madame Gentille who, like her name, is the loveliest, most generous carer the children could ever hope for. She would do anything for the children and the feeling is mutual. I love that she has a mysterious past and there is so much more to her character than first meets the eye.

The children will stop at nothing to find justice for the notorious Odieux brothers. The murder of Bastien’s parents and the treatment of the authors in the first Bastien adventure has not been fully resolved. There is still much to discover before the great city of Paris falls to an evil plan – taking Bastien with it.

In the midst of the darkness, there are still glimpses of joy. Pastries, books and friendship give everyone the strength they need. Le Chat Curieux bookshop is particularly lovely – celebrating the publication of Bastien’s book and providing him with the family he so desperately needs.

A secret society, a dodgy newspaper, the upcoming Exposition Universalle and dangerous events across the city leave Bastien and his friends wondering who they can trust. Betrayal, revenge and a thirst for power run through this fast-paced mystery. Will Bastien discover the truth and save the city in time or will the Bad Brothers destroy everything that’s precious to him?

Thank you to Usborne Publishing & NetGalley UK for an early copy of this brilliant book!

Publishes: 7th July 2022

You can read my review of The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre with a special guest post from author Clare Povey here:

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

Books by Kate Heap:

Available to pre-order:

Nonfiction: Years 5/6

Nonfiction: Years 3/4

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