Kid’s Book Review: The Miraculous Sweetmakers – The Frost Fair

Kid’s Book Review: The Miraculous Sweetmakers – The Frost Fair

About the Book and Author

Coming in October is debut novel about a magical frost fair and the lasting power of friendship from author Natasha Hastings.

It’s a cold winter during the Great Frost of 1683. Thomasina and Anne are the best of friends, one running her father’s sweet shop and the other the apprentice at the family apothecary – together they sell their goods on the frozen River Thames. When a family tragedy turns Thomasina’s world upside down, she is drawn to a mysterious conjuror and the enchanted frost fair.


Miraculous Sweetmakers
Natasha Hastings author

Natasha Hastings started developing The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair while studying history at Cambridge University, where she focused on gender and mental illness. While exploring these topics, she became determined to have the lives of working women, as well as their experiences of mental illness in this period, form the heartbeat of her debut book, The Frost Fair.

Alex T. Smith graduated with a 1st Class Hons degree in Illustration in 2006 and having won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Picture Book Illustration in his final year, he begin working on his first commission as he put his degree show up! Since then Alex has gone on to work for a wide variety of clients not just in the publishing industry, as well as writing and illustrating his own picture books including the Claude series for younger readers.

Book Review

the novel teaches the value of friendship

The Miraculous Sweetmakers – The Frost Fair is so enjoyable that once I started to read the novel, I couldn’t put it down. It is broken down into thirty-three good-sized chapters.

The book starts with a small preamble four years before the bulk of the story. A tragic event happens that grips the reader into the narrative straight away and helps to better understand Thomasina, the main character.

I felt for Thomasina and her family as they struggle through a cold winter in difficult family circumstances dealing with death, grief and poor mental health. As she tries to find a solution to make her family happy again, Thomasina does not think about the dangers she faces. She wants to believe that everything will go back to normal by listening to a mysterious conjurer at the Frost Fair, blinding her from reality.

The title of the book “the Miraculous Sweetmakers”, which is the business Thomasina and her friend Anne set up, provides the answer in the end to the difficulties faced by Thomasina and her family. Rather than believing strangers, the novel teaches the value of friendship: if you make the right friends they will always stick by you to the very end and help you overcome any difficulties.

Even though the story is set in the 1600s with no electricity or technology, I feel it still has a very modern feel to it. The language used and the descriptions of the scenery are vivid and it is very easy to imagine Thomasina’s London.

Overall, I think that “The Miraculous Sweetmakers” is a great, fast-paced book full of adventure and I feel lucky to have had my hands on a yet-to-be published copy. I believe it will interest readers from age 10 onwards who like fantasy adventure books. I will look out for any follow up to this story (if there is one) or another novel by the same author.

If you would would like to buy a copy of the book we invite you to order it from your local independent book shop.

Or, you can shop on-line and support our Kids Reviews page by sourcing your discounted book via this link

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Alternatively, we suggest that you visit your local library and request to borrow a copy from a friendly librarian.

Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

Iona reviewer
  • Name: Iona
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: reading, playing football and nature
  • Dislikes: aubergines and getting up too early
  • Favourite Book: the Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Favourite Film: High School Musical 1-2-3
  • Favourite Song: Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman