When her father takes up a new position in a strange city, Ophelia must amuse herself by exploring the vast, mysterious museum where he has been charged with overseeing the greatest ever exhibition of swords. Being on her own allows Ophelia time to remember her mother who has recently passed away. Although Ophelia can sense that there is something different or even other-worldly about this place, she struggles to reconcile this instinct with her steadfast belief in science.
Upon finding a boy her own age imprisoned in the museum, these beliefs and indeed her own bravery are tested even further as she must embark on a series of tasks to overcome fierce leopards, haunted rooms, but most terrifying of all the evil Snow Queen.
Although the narrative focuses mainly on Ophelia in the modern day, through the boy’s retelling we are given an insight into his own story which is very much straight from the realm of fairytale. Here the author creates an enchanting world filled with wizards and magical trees, which this reader would have liked to have explored further. However, the boy’s tale seems to end abruptly and it feels as though the author is in a hurry to get back to Ophelia and her struggles in the museum.
Although at times, it can be frustrating to watch Ophelia miss clues that are obvious to the reader, on the whole she is an excellent character to go on an adventure with as she shares the same fears, doubts and sense of loss that we all do. That’s the reason you will stay with her and cheer her on right to the very last.