About this deal
Puffin started out as a non-fiction publisher, with its first title appearing in 1940. As the most iconic and well-known children’s book brand in the UK today, we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to tell the world’s favourite stories and for brilliant new debut talent and brands that connect with today’s young readers, from newborn up to twelve years old. Auf den ersten Teil der "Die Gilde der Hutmacher" Reihe war ich sehr gespannt und ich habe eine Geschichte im Stil der Duftapotheke-Reihe erwartet.
The Hatmakers is set in a fictional country where the king has appointed 5 “maker” families to make gloves, hats, boots, cloaks and watches. These families each specialize in one item and have done so for hundreds of years, and no one else in the kingdom is allowed to make those items. Additionally, the families make the items using magical materials. The magical elements, which should have really made the book come alive, instead felt shoe-horned in, because there was never any real purpose to them. The central conflict was that of the Maker families decades long quarrel, and the magic wasn’t actually necessary to the story. Instead, crazy magic materials were rattled off in each chapter, creating a laundry list of magical items, that were never fully explored and never came into their own. They were there for the sake of being there, rather than for a specific purpose. The story wraps up nicely, though I would love it if Merchant returned to this world, as Cordelia is a fun character, and I liked this alternate take on English history. The Mapmakers delves deeper into the magic and Maker world that we are introduced to in book 1. It is darker, but also includes cute fireflies!Cordelia's father, Prospero, a renowned Hatmaker is lost at sea. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle and is learning bits and pieces about their family trade hatmaking. BUT Commisioned hats go wrong. There's a robbery. There are chaos. This is a big probem because France is declaring war on England, and the Maker-families through their magic can actually bring about peace. The peace clothes for the princess apeears to be missing and a villain and a thief is in their midst. Now, the magic in this book is really fun. One way in which is manifesting is in how the various families Make items. For instance, the Hatmakers imbue their hats with a variety of unique and oftentimes hard to get items--such as moonbeams, storms, and feathers from rare birds--that, when worn, can give the wearer feels of peacefulness, happiness, excitement, you name it. I assume this is also how it works for the Bootmakers, Glovemakers, Cloakmakers, and so on. I loved learning about all of the different trades and their methods of Making various magical items, as well as some tidbits here and there about past events that the Makers have been a part of. In Cordelia’s London, magic is real and is woven into objects created by the five Maker families: the Hatmakers, the Bootmakers, the Watchmakers, the Cloakmakers, and the Glovemakers. Growing up in her father Prospero’s footsteps, eleven-year-old Cordelia Hatmaker has learned the family’s ancient skills and secrets so she can one day make her own enchanted hats.
Cordelia's father was reported missing by his colleague Witloof at book one's outset, and we find out at this book's open that Cordelia has been slipping out after dark to look for clues regarding her father's disappearance; she's still the only one of her family who is convinced he is not dead. She needs to find him to reverse the family's dwindling fortunes, and though caught by Sam, the orphan the Hatmakers took in in the last book, Cordelia is reluctant to share the purpose of her nightly hunts. This book, uniting historical and philological approaches, uncovers the remarkable lives and writings of these tradesmen, showing how they adapted to their new environment and reacted to the challenges they faced. It also presents a modern edition of the texts of the Hatmakers' guild book. And I LOVED the magic system! It was so well thought out and the uniqueness and utter magic of it all just gave me this wonderful fuzzy feeling. I feel like even though there were parts of the magic system explained in Book 1, it was expanded on so much more in this, which was wonderful to see. So, yeah, that was a great part of the story 😁🙌
We return to the magical England Tamzin Merchant introduced us to in book one, "The Hatmakers". Cordelia Hatmaker lives with her family of magical hat makers, the Hatmakers, and there are rival families, the Glovemakers, the Bootmakers, the Cloakmakers, and the now disreputable Canemakers. Each family has a Royal charter, and after a falling out years earlier, refuse to even talk to another member of a magical family. Ever since Cordelia discovered the hidden map in her father's precious telescope, she's been searching the streets of London by starlight and trying to uncover its secrets. She's sure that her missing father is out there somewhere, and that if she follows his map, she'll finally discover the truth about his disappearance. This book was fun! Cordelia is energetic, and super determined. Though I wish she had opened up to Sam earlier, Cordelia is seemingly tireless at trying to find her father, despite her family's disbelief. I loved how she, Sam and Goose finally got people to begin working together, though it did take things getting pretty bad for all Makers for that to happen. In her debut novel, British actor Merchant creates an elaborate fantasy world around a family of magical milliners. That's surprising, because cliche characters usually bother me SOO much, but somehow this was NICE cliche. Which makes no sense, but I just found it kinda cute and endearing. And I did like Cordelia- she was a very strong female MC and I was rooting for her throughout the book. I also enjoyed the way all the characters complimented each other and how they all had such different personalities. So, yes, maybe a little 1-dimensional but since it's middle grade and I still thought they were cute, I'll let it slide.
But danger is lurking around every corner, and Cordelia must convince the rival Maker families to work together for once - not only to bring her father home, but to save the very essence of magic itself . . .Forgotten magic is like a flower in winter. It disappears down into the depths of the person, and anyone looking could be forgiven for thinking it had gone away completely. But it hasn't gone - it just has to be woken up again." (P.67) What a delightfully magical read! I had such a great time, & I’m so sad I don’t have more in my hands to read right now! Lol Cordelia comes from a long line of magical hatmakers, who weave alchemy & enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots & gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare & ancient skill, & only a few special Maker families remain. Loved this, start to finish. I was immediately drawn into the beauty of this world through the storytelling, and with magic fizzing in every word, I got carried away and finished before I knew it. The great thing about this is that there is huge potential with this world moving forward, and as this is the first in a series, I am beyond excited to see the adventure Cordelia goes on next.
When Cordelia's father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war. Zunächst war ich gespannt in das Setting einzutauchen, die unterschiedlichen Gilden und ihre Aufgaben sowie die Charaktere kennenzulernen. Es konnte mich anfangs auch wirklich gut unterhalten und es war interessant die unterschiedlichen Aufgaben kennenzulernen und ich war außerdem neugierig darauf Cordelia bei der Suche nach ihrem Vater zu begleiten. Anyway, moving on. I'm gonna talk about the characters first. Our MC in both books and whose perspective we read through is Cordelia Hatmaker. Cordelia is part of the magical Hatmaker family and has magic running through her veins. She's determined and stubborn, and will not rest until she defeats the villain of the series, who is threatening the Maker families and the very existence of magic. There are also loads of side characters, like feisty tomboy Sam, sweet and kind-hearted Goose, our mysterious villain whose identity I won't reveal and, of course, the other Makers. I did enjoy having such a big cast, as they all really added to the story. What I loved about The Hatmakers was the emphasis on creativity with magical ingredients. This second book is an exploration of Maker magic itself, both light: Cordelia has a couple friends, Goose the Bootmaker's son and Sam, an orphan who sells newspapers. The threesome are cute and I liked their friendship. They worked together well and were able to take down the villains and help their families start to come together. I love seeing strong friendship bonds and the way they accept each other without hesitation.I also adored this quote: "Everybody has their own unique magic, littlest hatmaker. But it's up to you to discover what it is. You've got to adventure into your own heart and head and belly to find out just what your own special magic is made of." (P.65) One to recommend to fans of Michelle Harrison and if you’re after more magical millinery, there’s always Howl’s Moving Castle too by the incomparable Diana Wynne Jones. Lastly, the writing style. Although I liked both the plot and the characters, I think that the writing was definitely the star of the show. Tamzin Merchant's writing style is so magical and lush, with all these gorgeous descriptions that just made my reader heart so happy. It was also so easy to read and made my reading experience so enjoyable overall. I'm sure I would've devoured this in a day or two if life wasn't so busy at the moment. I honestly wish I'd been able to! The one gripe I had is I found the conflict going on with the king to be far to obvious, from almost the very beginning, and therefore the twist like extremely predictable....like the adults in the story ignoring the most clear explanation bugged me. But I know I'm not the target audience for this though, so me finding the ending predictable doesn't really detract from my enjoyment of the book.