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The Hatmakers

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Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. When Cordelia's father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at s Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. 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. It's up to Cordelia to find out who, and why . . . Featuring illustrations by Paola Escobar.


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Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. When Cordelia's father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at s Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain. 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. It's up to Cordelia to find out who, and why . . . Featuring illustrations by Paola Escobar.

30 review for The Hatmakers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops and spires of London.’’ Georgian London. Cordelia is the youngest member of the honourable family of the Hatmakers, one of the Makers ‘’Houses’’ that are entrusted with the duty of creating the clothes of the royal family. This is a turbulent time. Cordelia’s father, Prospero, is lost at sea and the threat of a w ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops and spires of London.’’ Georgian London. Cordelia is the youngest member of the honourable family of the Hatmakers, one of the Makers ‘’Houses’’ that are entrusted with the duty of creating the clothes of the royal family. This is a turbulent time. Cordelia’s father, Prospero, is lost at sea and the threat of a war between England and France is always looming. King George is...well, king George, and the duty of the protection of the country has fallen on the shoulders of the kind Princess Georgina. Treachery and revenge have set a dangerous game in motion and our Cordelia is at the heart of this magnificent adventure. ‘’Isn’t keeping secrets sort of what got everyone into this big mess in the first place?’, Cordelia asked. Goose shifted in his boots. ‘My aunt told that the seventh star in the Makers’ crests means we’re stronger when we all work together; we’re best when we’re united.’’ This is the first instalment in a series of adventures centred around Cordelia Hatmaker, one of the most brilliant child-protagonists you’ll ever meet. Tamzin Merchant has created an absolutely beautiful, magical story of a world where hats can help people or harm them in terrible ways, where the mood and intentions of each are reflected on each creation. Where family, loyalty and peace have to stand firm against greed, despair, treachery and war, the greatest Malice of all. Where one can understand that you are never too young to set things right. This was an amazing reading journey, perfect for Christmas and beautiful wintry nights. Written in beautiful language, full of elegant, smart, refreshing humour. The scene of Sir Hugo’s visit to the Hatmakers’ shop was pure perfection and I was delighted to see a sentence in perfect Modern Greek. The atmosphere of London was brilliantly depicted and the marvellous twists and surprises won’t disappoint you. Sprinkled with Shakespearean references, beautiful illustrations by Paola Escobar and including a Glossary of the magic Ingredients and a very serious note of caution of their menacing cousins, this book is an unforgettable adventure. I can’t wait for Spring 2022. ‘’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 has gone away completely. But it hasn’t gone - it just has to be woken up again.’’ Many thanks to Penguin Random House Children’s UK and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    A phenomenal beginning to a gorgeously-written adventure, there is magic woven into every sentence and I am clamouring for the sequel. Be sure to check out my interview with author Tamzin Merchant on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nH7XkbY6Oy8 Set in a world where there are Makers, such as the Hatmakers, who weave enchantments into the hats they produce, allowing the wearer to be more bold, daring... or even violent! Cordelia is a Hatmaker who lives with her Aunt and Uncle, and one day her father becom A phenomenal beginning to a gorgeously-written adventure, there is magic woven into every sentence and I am clamouring for the sequel. Be sure to check out my interview with author Tamzin Merchant on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nH7XkbY6Oy8 Set in a world where there are Makers, such as the Hatmakers, who weave enchantments into the hats they produce, allowing the wearer to be more bold, daring... or even violent! Cordelia is a Hatmaker who lives with her Aunt and Uncle, and one day her father becomes lost at sea. Not only that, but France is declaring War on England, and it's up to the various families of Makers to produce peace clothes for the princess. Can Cordelia find her father and stop a looming battle with France? 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. I loved the various twists in the story and the excitement that is produced from certain moments throughout (scenes of which I will not spoil). There is a lot that goes on with various mysteries and villains that'll keep you reading to find out the who, what, when, where and why. And I am just fascinated by the history of Makers and what they do, and there's even a glossary at the back that's just simply fascinating and gorgeous and oh I just want to shout out my love for this book forever and ever! Also, there's a big gay moment in this that made my heart so happy, but my lips are sealed until you read it yourself. I simply LOVED IT!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Historical Fiction Fantasy Middle Grade book. I have to say I love this world/the magic in this book. This book was very well written. I also really loved the mystery. I enjoyed the characters in this book. The characters was very developed, and they made the story come to life. I did not want to put this book down, so I stayed up late just to finish reading this book. I think this book would be good for 5th grade and older. As an adult I also think adults will love this book. I was ki This is a Historical Fiction Fantasy Middle Grade book. I have to say I love this world/the magic in this book. This book was very well written. I also really loved the mystery. I enjoyed the characters in this book. The characters was very developed, and they made the story come to life. I did not want to put this book down, so I stayed up late just to finish reading this book. I think this book would be good for 5th grade and older. As an adult I also think adults will love this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Norton Young Readers) or author (Tamzin Merchant) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review about how I feel about this book, and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. (*)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Middle grade books are growing on me, hence my choice of THE HATMAKERS, a whimsical tale penned by Tamzin Merchant, who played Georgiana Darcy with such grace in the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice. That same spirit inhabits her debut novel, a compelling story about magic woven into hats by her family; in cloaks, clocks, boots, and gloves by other merchants. Cordelia Hatmaker’s father recently disappeared during a buying trip. And when the King orders a Peace Hat from her family, a dark f Middle grade books are growing on me, hence my choice of THE HATMAKERS, a whimsical tale penned by Tamzin Merchant, who played Georgiana Darcy with such grace in the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice. That same spirit inhabits her debut novel, a compelling story about magic woven into hats by her family; in cloaks, clocks, boots, and gloves by other merchants. Cordelia Hatmaker’s father recently disappeared during a buying trip. And when the King orders a Peace Hat from her family, a dark force wreaks havoc. Can Cordelia uncover her father’s fate, as well as the perpetrator of Kingdom chaos? An enthralling story for young readers! 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 02 Feb 2021 #TheHatmakers #NetGalley Thanks to the author, W. W. Norton & Company, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca | Velvet Opus

    The Hatmakers is an utterly delightful and charming laugh-out-loud adventure packed with whimsy, magic and friendship in a world that's as enchanting as its characters. Spirited eleven year-old Cordelia Hatmaker is a passionate apprentice hatmaker, descended from a line of legendary Hatmakers. The Hats (and other clothes) in this world are altogether magical. The six legendary Maker families (Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Glovemakers etc) can, with the right combination of spelltastic ingredients, craf The Hatmakers is an utterly delightful and charming laugh-out-loud adventure packed with whimsy, magic and friendship in a world that's as enchanting as its characters. Spirited eleven year-old Cordelia Hatmaker is a passionate apprentice hatmaker, descended from a line of legendary Hatmakers. The Hats (and other clothes) in this world are altogether magical. The six legendary Maker families (Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Glovemakers etc) can, with the right combination of spelltastic ingredients, craft articles of clothing that inspire things in the wearers such as courage or peace, and 'Menancing' ingredients can be used for nefarious purposes (and so are rightly locked away). One day, Cordelia's father is lost at sea and as she sets out to find him, she finds herself needing to save her family and even the Princess of England when a villain seems intent on starting a war…  "It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything" Stories featuring strong female hatmakers have captured my heart since meeting Sophie in Market Chipping and this one is no different. Although this isn't quite the next Howls Moving Castle, it's an adorable younger sister to it and delighted my heart as much. Cordelia shares many of the same traits with Sophie: she's determined, loyal and unafraid of doing what's right. The escapades of Cordelia and her friends had me snort-laughing-out-loud, with some delightful twists and a queer romance subplot that just melted my heart. The book is beautifully illustrated to boot, and although I read this as an eBook think it would be a stunning paperback to read tucked up in bed or under piles of blankets under a star dusted sky. A lovely escapist read. Thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    What a fun book! The cover of this is colorful and drew me in, then the start of the book dives right in and keeps a great pace with plenty of action. I thought the characters were entertaining and the plot was interesting. I flew through this in one sitting and I hope there will be more! Cordelia, or Dilly as her family calls her, is a young Hatmaker in training. She comes from a long line of Hatmakers and can't wait until she can start making her own creations. When her father is lost at sea on What a fun book! The cover of this is colorful and drew me in, then the start of the book dives right in and keeps a great pace with plenty of action. I thought the characters were entertaining and the plot was interesting. I flew through this in one sitting and I hope there will be more! Cordelia, or Dilly as her family calls her, is a young Hatmaker in training. She comes from a long line of Hatmakers and can't wait until she can start making her own creations. When her father is lost at sea on a mission for a special feather, she starts her own investigation into what happened and will not accept that he's not coming back. Meanwhile, war with France is on the horizon and all the Makers have been tasked with making peace clothes for the princess. 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'm really hoping there will be a sequel to this, especially with the surprise at the end. I'd love to learn more about the other Makers and hopefully see them come together and make more awesome outfits! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    KTReads

    3.5 Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc! This was such a fun story that is completely unique and magical! I loved the characters in this book and at the beginning, I didn't fully connect with them but as the story went on I became more and more attached. I also loved how unique the magic was! I love how it was based on creativity and belief in yourself which I think is important for children to read! The only issue I had is that this book jumps straight into the 3.5 Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-arc! This was such a fun story that is completely unique and magical! I loved the characters in this book and at the beginning, I didn't fully connect with them but as the story went on I became more and more attached. I also loved how unique the magic was! I love how it was based on creativity and belief in yourself which I think is important for children to read! The only issue I had is that this book jumps straight into the action, which while I think is important for children to keep engaged I also felt like there wasn't enough time, in the beginning, to get settled with the characters so in the first 25% I was slightly confused on who everyone was. Other than that I would definitely recommend this!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    This was so cute and magical! Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature! The Hatmakers is even more delightful and beautiful than its cover--and I think that it's cover is spectacular. The Hatmakers follows Cordelia, a young girl who is part of the legacy of the Hatmakers family. The story has two general plotlines, one overarching one in which Cordelia's father, Prospero, is reported lost at sea after a shipwreck, and the main plotline in which there is a potential war brewing that the Maker This was so cute and magical! Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature! The Hatmakers is even more delightful and beautiful than its cover--and I think that it's cover is spectacular. The Hatmakers follows Cordelia, a young girl who is part of the legacy of the Hatmakers family. The story has two general plotlines, one overarching one in which Cordelia's father, Prospero, is reported lost at sea after a shipwreck, and the main plotline in which there is a potential war brewing that the Makers are all fighting with one another over to assist the queen and stop. 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. The characters, such as Cordelia, Sam, and Goose, were all so full of life and had the most vivid personalities. There's plenty of twists and some drama littered throughout, and I appreciated how well Merchant portrayed these elements through her characters' reactions and emotions. The only perspective we follow is Cordelia's, but I still appreciated how much effort Merchant went to in order to create well-developed characters, even more minor characters that only show up in a few scenes. I had so much fun reading this book and it really captured that nostalgic magical feeling I used to get when reading books as a kid. The setting itself is really fun and has a historical Georgian London time period that combines a sense of real history (think 'alternate,' maybe) with some magical twists that made it feel so timeless and welcoming to me. It's an exceptionally immersive setting that I really loved diving into and hope to discover more of in future books. Merchant's writing is stunning and vivid, written with a beautiful prose style that is both accessible and full of elegance and wit. Some of my favorite parts of Merchant's writing are her focus on detail and her wit, both of which seem to play hand in hand. Something that I am always drawn to in books is when an author includes very minor, quirky details or insights about a world that aren't necessarily necessary, but that for me serve to build up the world and create a more immersive experience, and this is something that I think Merchant captured really well. Similarly, in doing this she includes some strong wit in both her creative details and a bit a humor that acts as an undercurrent and really helps make this story flow even better than it already does. Overall, I loved this middle grade fantasy and have given it five stars! If you enjoy middle grade fantasy or are simply looking for something fun, imaginative, and exciting, then you should definitely pick up The Hatmakers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    A world of many Makers—there are Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Glovemakers, Cloakmakers, Watchmakers and Cane makers. Hatmakers weave enchantments into the hats they produce allowing the wearer to be more focussed, brave, daring, violent, angry; anything! And the hats need unique ingredients—like feather of an owl for which you have to undertake a journey, storms in jars, moonbeams etc. Cordelia's father, Prospero, a renowned Hatmaker is lost at sea. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle and is learning bit A world of many Makers—there are Hatmakers, Bootmakers, Glovemakers, Cloakmakers, Watchmakers and Cane makers. Hatmakers weave enchantments into the hats they produce allowing the wearer to be more focussed, brave, daring, violent, angry; anything! And the hats need unique ingredients—like feather of an owl for which you have to undertake a journey, storms in jars, moonbeams etc. 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. Fun, enjoyable with lots of good stuff. I loved the imagination about clothes and hats giving qualities to people. I was a bit annoyed that in some portions Cordelia thinks out loud and tells us what to understand instead of showing it in the story. But this was a nice, fun read nevertheless. Rating : 3.5 stars Much thanks to Penguin Randomhouse for an e-copy. All opinions are my own. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “All night long the words lost at sea, lost at sea, lost at sea whispered to her in the storm-tossed dreams and an albatross keened and curled in the strange sky. In the morning, she woke with an idea. What is lost can be found.” After Cordelia Hatmaker’s father is shipwrecked before reaching his destination, her Aunt and Uncle have no hope that they will ever see him again, but Cordelia truly believes that he will return. While her Aunt and Uncle work alongside other rival Maker families—rare in “All night long the words lost at sea, lost at sea, lost at sea whispered to her in the storm-tossed dreams and an albatross keened and curled in the strange sky. In the morning, she woke with an idea. What is lost can be found.” After Cordelia Hatmaker’s father is shipwrecked before reaching his destination, her Aunt and Uncle have no hope that they will ever see him again, but Cordelia truly believes that he will return. While her Aunt and Uncle work alongside other rival Maker families—rare individuals who weave magic into boots, hats, cloaks, and the likes—Cordelia is determined to do anything she can to find her father, even if it goes against her family’s wishes. But when someone threatens to destroy the Makers’ objects and war with France looms, Cordelia must join forces with her friends to determine who is threatening the safety of the entire Kingdom. Tamzin Merchant’s debut novel creates a fun world of magic and enthralling characters. The main character, Cordelia Hatmaker, stands out because of the optimism and bravery she displays throughout the novel. She never loses hope that she will find her father, and while she faces obstacles on her journey, her hopefulness allows her to summon the strength she needs to fight for her family. The Hatmakers’ close bond and shared appreciation for the delicate art of hatmaking highlights the importance of family and tradition. Yet, Cordelia’s secret friendship with a Bootmaker–a rival Maker family–illustrates that blood does not define your loyalty or friendships and that you are successful when you work as a team. Overall, it is Cordelia’s fierce personality that makes her a joy to read in this novel. She chooses to follow her heart and become the person she desires to be, despite opposition she may face from her family and the world. Anyone who is a fan of being swept away by a magical world will love this story! Content Warnings: Mild violence, referenced death of a loved one. (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing us with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steph Warren

    *I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, Puffin – Random House UK and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.* This middle-grade book is a delightful fantasy coming-of-age adventure, featuring magical worldbuilding and an endearing cast of characters. Cordelia Hatmaker, newly orphaned – or so the grown ups tell her – lives with her extended family and is learning how to make hats. Hatmaking is just one of the ‘Maker’ magical skills and the Hatmaker fami *I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author, Puffin – Random House UK and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.* This middle-grade book is a delightful fantasy coming-of-age adventure, featuring magical worldbuilding and an endearing cast of characters. Cordelia Hatmaker, newly orphaned – or so the grown ups tell her – lives with her extended family and is learning how to make hats. Hatmaking is just one of the ‘Maker’ magical skills and the Hatmaker family is joined by the Bootmakers, the Glovemakers and more. Except that ‘joined’ is not the right word. The Maker guilds are all very, very separate – to the point of outright hostility – which makes it awkward when the kingdom desperately needs their unified talents to avoid an international war. Alongside her friends, Goose and Sam, Cordelia must solve the mysteries of what really happened to her father, to the king, and to the Maker guilds, and who is trying to prevent them from fulfilling their most important order ever. Unfortunately, she isn’t actually allowed to make hats yet and doesn’t even know what her own magic is either. Oh, and she is surrounded by grown ups who will insist on treating her like some sort of child! But Cordelia is not one to meekly sit back and watch things go wrong… she has ideas and, maybe, magic of her own, after all. Set in an alternate historical England, this magic-realism fantasy adventure is utterly spellbinding for adults and children alike. The worldbuilding, plot, characters… all are wonderfully introduced and developed, and the reader is swept from sadness to laughter, through action and intrigue, via bravery and hope, to an ending that resolves the immediate issues but leads directly to the possibility of sequels to come. I can’t wait! '‘What is my magic?’ Cordelia asked. ‘Everybody has their own unique magic, littlest Hatmaker,’ Prospero explained, handing her the jar of beans. ‘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.’' – Tamzin Merchant, The Hatmakers Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog https://bookshineandreadbows.wordpres...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rylanne Burdette

    When Cordelia is told that her father, a Hatmaker who recently left to gather ingredients for the hats his family needs to make, died in shipwreck, she refuses to believe it. Cordelia is convinced that her father is simply lost at sea, and she thinks she can find him. However, at the same time she tries to find her father, a treacherous plot is secretly getting put into place that could hurt all of the Makers and the royal family. Will Cordelia be able to figure out what is going on in time to s When Cordelia is told that her father, a Hatmaker who recently left to gather ingredients for the hats his family needs to make, died in shipwreck, she refuses to believe it. Cordelia is convinced that her father is simply lost at sea, and she thinks she can find him. However, at the same time she tries to find her father, a treacherous plot is secretly getting put into place that could hurt all of the Makers and the royal family. Will Cordelia be able to figure out what is going on in time to save those closest to her? Well this was certainly adorable! A magical world with a fantastic plot and wonderful characters, The Hatmakers is a great middle-grade novel. Although it took me a little while to learn who was who and get used to the extravagent objects mentioned throughout the story, I soon got sucked into what was going on and didn't want to stop reading! Cordelia was such an entertaining protagonist, and her determination to find her father and save the day made me love her even more. I am really hoping there will be a sequel, as the ending left me needing to know what happens next! A huge thank you to NetGalley and Norton Young Readers for the ARC of The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth Cato

    I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley. The Hatmakers is a middle grade book by actress Tamzin Merchant that has its charms. This is a regency London filled with whimsy and hidden magic, wherein Maker families specialize in garb such as hats, boots, and cloaks embodied with powers to enhance the paying public and the royal family. However, its silly aspects lurch more toward ludicrous, with a plot that is far too easy and predictable for readers of all ages. I cannot help but w I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley. The Hatmakers is a middle grade book by actress Tamzin Merchant that has its charms. This is a regency London filled with whimsy and hidden magic, wherein Maker families specialize in garb such as hats, boots, and cloaks embodied with powers to enhance the paying public and the royal family. However, its silly aspects lurch more toward ludicrous, with a plot that is far too easy and predictable for readers of all ages. I cannot help but wonder how much the author has actually read in the genre. The magic aspect of the book, I loved. There's something undeniably charming about taking various magical items and Making them into a cohesive, empowering accessory. Cordelia is a good heroine to follow, too, a smart girl who insists that her father wasn't just killed at sea, but is surely alive somewhere out there. Meanwhile, her eccentric family struggles to fulfill a royal commission. King George is mad, his daughter is being manipulated, and a war with France is looming. The Maker families of London are all to make garb that will help the princess radiate peace during negotiations with France, but their efforts are stolen and sabotaged, and Cordelia stumbles upon a most dreadful plot that will make her family and all of England suffer. Cordelia is the only character who is really developed (though I am left wanting to know more about her ancient great aunt). The others feel straight out of Central Casting, terribly cliched, from the thief with a transparent secret to a villain with zero nuance and intelligence to some truly wince-inducing French accents. The plot is easy and convenient, such as how Cordelia easily listens in on a royal conversation from a neighboring theater box to a weird brief masquerade as highway robbers. No adults listen to her (or if they start to listen, they are interrupted); it's frustrating when too many complications happen because basic communication doesn't happen, repeatedly. It's not a terrible book, but any means, but neither does it feel clever or original. It's a fluffy romp--and sometimes, a fluffy romp is exactly what a reader needs. Child readers are smart, though, and I can't help but think of myself at age 10 reading this and thinking, "Well, that seems a bit too easy for her," and "that was predictable" over and over again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Hatmakers is a rollicking adventure for young readers by Tamzin Merchant. Due out 2nd Feb 2021 from Norton on their Young Readers imprint, it's 368 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. The art by Paola Escob Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Hatmakers is a rollicking adventure for young readers by Tamzin Merchant. Due out 2nd Feb 2021 from Norton on their Young Readers imprint, it's 368 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. The art by Paola Escobar is whimsical and appealing and really sets off the story very well. It's always a red-letter day when I come across a really good juvenile book. This one took me back to my own early book-loving days. A love of reading which lasts a lifetime is an incredibly precious gift and it wouldn't surprise me at all to hear someone in 20 years claim this book was the start of the bibliophile life for them. A dark and stormy night, an unexpected crash at the door, a shipwreck, and the start of a boundless adventure for young Cordelia Hatmaker who is brave, loyal, resourceful, and magical. There are so many cool details in the storytelling and the book itself that it's hard to narrow down to a few. The characters are wonky and wonderful. There is an abundance of whimsy, but it doesn't detract from the fact that it's really well written and put together. I loved loved loved the addition of a glossary at the end containing an abbreviated herbal ingredients (with funny made up (but appropriate) botanical names). I enjoyed this one very much and would recommend it without reservation for public and school library acquisition, gift giving to a 9-12 year old friend/family, or as a bedtime read for precocious younger kids. Five stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rylanne Burdette

    When Cordelia is told that her father, a Hatmaker who recently left to gather ingredients for the hats his family needs to make, died in shipwreck, she refuses to believe it. Cordelia is convinced that her father is simply lost at sea, and she thinks she can find him. However, at the same time she tries to find her father, a treacherous plot is secretly getting put into place that could hurt all of the Makers and the royal family. Will Cordelia be able to figure out what is going on in time to s When Cordelia is told that her father, a Hatmaker who recently left to gather ingredients for the hats his family needs to make, died in shipwreck, she refuses to believe it. Cordelia is convinced that her father is simply lost at sea, and she thinks she can find him. However, at the same time she tries to find her father, a treacherous plot is secretly getting put into place that could hurt all of the Makers and the royal family. Will Cordelia be able to figure out what is going on in time to save those closest to her? Well this was certainly adorable! A magical world with a fantastic plot and wonderful characters, The Hatmakers is a great middle-grade novel. Although it took me a little while to learn who was who and get used to the extravagent objects mentioned throughout the story, I soon got sucked into what was going on and didn't want to stop reading! Cordelia was such an entertaining protagonist, and her determination to find her father and save the day made me love her even more. I am really hoping there will be a sequel, as the ending left me needing to know what happens next! A huge thank you to NetGalley and Norton Young Readers for the ARC of The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alexis (The Book Democracy)

    4/5 Stars ** I received this as an E-ARC from Edelweiss Plus and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you!** I had so much fun reading this book! I loved the missing father aspect, the magic, the world, the characters, and the plot. Everything was just a great time. I loved the idea of this maker magic system and find it very interesting. I really enjoyed our main character, she was very true to herself and I just really adored her. Overall a great book! It's adventurous, fun, m 4/5 Stars ** I received this as an E-ARC from Edelweiss Plus and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you!** I had so much fun reading this book! I loved the missing father aspect, the magic, the world, the characters, and the plot. Everything was just a great time. I loved the idea of this maker magic system and find it very interesting. I really enjoyed our main character, she was very true to herself and I just really adored her. Overall a great book! It's adventurous, fun, magical, and easy to read! I would for sure recommend it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jinckee

    3.5 stars! I liked it and I am excited for the next instalment!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Louise Gooding

    What a fun and fabulous adventure! Brilliant read for kids (ok and adults) to get lost in! The Hatmaker family have been weaving magic into hats for years, but how and when did it start and what’s wrong with the mad king? Cordelia and her friends have to save the day, but will that be possible when the other Makers dont speak to each other, in fact, they loathe each other...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zac

    Imagine if clothes could affect your mood or change aspects of your personality. A hat could give you a confidence boost, give you a dash of bravado, help you sleep or fall in love. In Tamzin Merchant’s enchanting debut middle grade book, The Hatmakers, clothes have these magical properties and their creators are highly valued craftspeople. Cordelia is part of the Hatmaker family. For centuries her family have been the creators of the headpieces worn by the British royal family. They use their sk Imagine if clothes could affect your mood or change aspects of your personality. A hat could give you a confidence boost, give you a dash of bravado, help you sleep or fall in love. In Tamzin Merchant’s enchanting debut middle grade book, The Hatmakers, clothes have these magical properties and their creators are highly valued craftspeople. Cordelia is part of the Hatmaker family. For centuries her family have been the creators of the headpieces worn by the British royal family. They use their skills to create hats that keep the monarchs level-headed, improve their concentration and help them negotiate peace. They use materials from plants, birds, and insects to create their masterpieces. The Bootmakers, Cloakmakers, Glovemakers and Watchmakers also create their masterpieces, that come together to form the Royal Garb. While the clothes have power individually, they are more powerful if all of them are worn at the same time. However, a rift between the families has left them untrusting of each other. The Hatmakers work their magic, not only for the royal family, but for anyone who needs a special hat to improve their life. When Cordelia receives word that her father’s ship has been wrecked and he is missing, she knows that he can’t be dead. She knows that she needs to ask the king to send a ship to find him. The King, however, is acting rather strangely indeed. It is hoped that a special hat will return the king to normal, but when this doesn’t work, the king’s advisor, Lord Witloof, suggests a holiday by the sea might help and puts Princess Georgina in charge. Cordelia knows that she must convince the princess to send a ship to find her father but every attempt to ask for her help is thwarted. Meanwhile, each of the Maker’s houses are broken into and their precious materials, needed for making their creations, are stolen. Cordelia is accused of being the thief and so she sets out to discover the true thief. She uncovers a plot that will set England at war with France, and when the rest of her family are imprisoned, it is up to Cordelia and her friends to foil the plot and save her family. The Hatmakers is tantalisingly good! From the moment I picked up this book I was captivated by its magic and I didn’t want to put it down. Tamzin takes us back to a time to a London filled with horse and carts, Lords and Ladies, scruffy orphans and lavish palaces. While it seems familiar, it is also a London filled with magic, where clothes can make a person who they wish to be. As with all magic there is a dark side to this creation of garments, and one particular outfit will make your skin crawl. There are plenty of twists in the story to keep you guessing, with many of the characters not who they first appear to be. There are so many things I loved about this book. Tamzin is a gifted storyteller, whose words wrap you up in a comforting blanket. I became immersed in her story as soon as I started reading and the language that she uses paints a vivid picture of her world. The idea of clothes being created, with special ingredients entwined in them and added to them to give them certain properties, is just amazing. It is fascinating to read the descriptions of Cordelia’s aunts and uncle creating the different aspects of the hats. Cordelia is left in charge of the hat shop in one part of the story and she knows that she is not allowed to create new hats. However, she has several customers who come in to the shop needing specific hats. This was my favourite part of the book, as Cordelia creates hats for them (even though she knows she shouldn’t) and the hats have unexpected consequences. Two young men, who need a hat to help them win a pistol duel, get hats of a different kind, and an actor gets more than a cure for stage fright. I love the idea of food being a kind of magic too. The Hatmaker’s Cook suggests that food is a kind of magic because it ‘can heal all manner of maladies.’ Tamzin’s glossary at the back of the book adds even more to the story. The glossary is fascinating and lists the ingredients that are ‘most potent and valuable for apprentice hat makers.’ Each ingredient is named, with a description of what it looks like or where it comes from, and what property it possesses. The Sicilian Leaping Bean ‘gives the wearer a sense of levity and gladness of heart,’ the Feather of the Athenian Owl ‘can be used for cleverness, concentration and contemplation,’ and Mellow Daisies ‘promote a happy-go-lucky attitude and a sunny outlook.’ I could imagine a faded, leather-bound book filled with these descriptions and drawings of the ingredients for identification. Paola Escobar’s cover and internal illustrations are like the ingredients added to the Hatmaker hats. They give the book an extra magical quality. Paolo’s cover illustration invites you in to the world of the Hatmakers and his internal illustrations give you glimpses of the characters and the events of the story. I love that Paolo has even topped the Hatmaker house with giant hats. The ending perfectly wraps up the story but leaves the promise of more adventures to come. I’m already dying to get back to the world of The Hatmakers and find out what happens next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Krysta

    Source: ARC from publisher The Hatmakers is pure middle-grade magic. Set in an alternate England where five guilds create powerful artifacts that can influence a person’s behavior or even the fate of the nation, The Hatmakers draws readers into a spellbinding story where magic and science are now at odds. For years, the skills of the Makers were high demand, but new advances have made their work seem silly (to some) or even downright dangerous. Now Cordelia, an apprentice Hatmaker, must fight to Source: ARC from publisher The Hatmakers is pure middle-grade magic. Set in an alternate England where five guilds create powerful artifacts that can influence a person’s behavior or even the fate of the nation, The Hatmakers draws readers into a spellbinding story where magic and science are now at odds. For years, the skills of the Makers were high demand, but new advances have made their work seem silly (to some) or even downright dangerous. Now Cordelia, an apprentice Hatmaker, must fight to remind England of the importance of the Maker traditions. Cordelia is a suitably spunky heroine, one who will immediately engage the sympathies of the readers as she sets out to find her (supposedly dead) father and to rescue the king of England from a dastardly plot meant to draw the nation into war with France. The adults in Cordelia’s life may love her, but they certainly do not trust her instincts, or her ability to fight the mysterious foe who has been stealing Maker items. This, however, only draws out Cordelia’s strengths, showing how devoted she is to her convictions and how willing she is to trust in herself when no one else will. Readers will cheer her own as she repeatedly rushes into danger, always with the good of others foremost in her mind. Cordelia’s world is also gripping. The concept of guilds who create magical articles that can change a person, making them more outgoing, loving, intelligent, etc. feels very original and is used to great effect. At times, Maker items are used for Very Important business, such as state negotiations. Other times, however, private individuals may ask for something simple, like a hat that will cure stage fright. The book shows with humor how such a request can easily go wrong, if the Hatmaker is not well-versed in their craft! This magic system, combined with a historical (fantasy) setting makes the book an engaging read. The Hatmakers is an enchanting, whimsical tale sure to delight fans of middle-grade fantasy. Its original premise, richly-drawn world, and sympathetic protagonist make it a sure win for readers of all ages. The only trouble with the book? It needs a sequel right away!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steph Warren

    This middle-grade book is a delightful fantasy coming-of-age adventure, featuring magical worldbuilding and an endearing cast of characters. Cordelia Hatmaker, newly orphaned – or so the grown ups tell her – lives with her extended family and is learning how to make hats. Hatmaking is just one of the ‘Maker’ magical skills and the Hatmaker family is joined by the Bootmakers, the Glovemakers and more. Except that ‘joined’ is not the right word. The Maker guilds are all very, very separate – to the This middle-grade book is a delightful fantasy coming-of-age adventure, featuring magical worldbuilding and an endearing cast of characters. Cordelia Hatmaker, newly orphaned – or so the grown ups tell her – lives with her extended family and is learning how to make hats. Hatmaking is just one of the ‘Maker’ magical skills and the Hatmaker family is joined by the Bootmakers, the Glovemakers and more. Except that ‘joined’ is not the right word. The Maker guilds are all very, very separate – to the point of outright hostility – which makes it awkward when the kingdom desperately needs their unified talents to avoid an international war. Alongside her friends, Goose and Sam, Cordelia must solve the mysteries of what really happened to her father, to the king, and to the Maker guilds, and who is trying to prevent them from fulfilling their most important order ever. Unfortunately, she isn’t actually allowed to make hats yet and doesn’t even know what her own magic is either. Oh, and she is surrounded by grown ups who will insist on treating her like some sort of child! But Cordelia is not one to meekly sit back and watch things go wrong… she has ideas and, maybe, magic of her own, after all. Set in an alternate historical England, this magic-realism fantasy adventure is utterly spellbinding for adults and children alike. The worldbuilding, plot, characters… all are wonderfully introduced and developed, and the reader is swept from sadness to laughter, through action and intrigue, via bravery and hope, to an ending that resolves the immediate issues but leads directly to the possibility of sequels to come. I can’t wait! '‘What is my magic?’ Cordelia asked. ‘Everybody has their own unique magic, littlest Hatmaker,’ Prospero explained, handing her the jar of beans. ‘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.’' – Tamzin Merchant, The Hatmakers Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kailee’s Book Nook

    The Maker’s have to help the King, who has lost his wits to silliness. At the same time, Cordelia’s father is lost at sea. I love the magic and storytelling in this story as well as Cordelia and her optimism in the time of tragedy. In this story, creativity is magic. “Cordelia would smile at her father when he said this, and reply, ‘what are your gifts to me, Father?’ He would grin back and say, ‘The gifts of a Hatmaker. Wildness in your wits and magic in your fingertips!” My only critique is th The Maker’s have to help the King, who has lost his wits to silliness. At the same time, Cordelia’s father is lost at sea. I love the magic and storytelling in this story as well as Cordelia and her optimism in the time of tragedy. In this story, creativity is magic. “Cordelia would smile at her father when he said this, and reply, ‘what are your gifts to me, Father?’ He would grin back and say, ‘The gifts of a Hatmaker. Wildness in your wits and magic in your fingertips!” My only critique is that main plot of the book seems to get lost in the details because at times the book felt a bit all over the place, with multiple pieces making up the overall plot. But the more I read, the more I am able to piece everything together and enjoy this story. Ultimately, I really liked this book and love that the ending leaves a bit of a cliffhanger. “Everyone has the magic in them to Make things. Most people have just forgotten or got distracted or don’t believe they can.” CW: death of a parent/missing parent

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    This is a really well paced and fun book. The book keeps a fast pace while still providing great world building. I was on the edge of my seat through the last few chapters and loved the ending. I also love the magic system of the makers which combines alchemy and haberdashery for a very fun and creative series of magical clothing items. The main character is from a family of hat makers who used magic imbued trimmings to create hats that help people. I also appreciated that the makers strive to h This is a really well paced and fun book. The book keeps a fast pace while still providing great world building. I was on the edge of my seat through the last few chapters and loved the ending. I also love the magic system of the makers which combines alchemy and haberdashery for a very fun and creative series of magical clothing items. The main character is from a family of hat makers who used magic imbued trimmings to create hats that help people. I also appreciated that the makers strive to help people and overall used their magic only for good. I really enjoyed this book and would love to read more from this world as a series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant is an excellent fantasy novel that has mystery, adventure, suspense, magic, and a wonderfully fun and heartwarming heroine. Cordelia Hatmaker is an awesome, feisty, intelligent, and extremely like able character to love and champion on her quest to find out what has happened to her father, as well as trying to navigate her complicated, whimsical world. I enjoyed the obstacles, her ability with her companions to navigate the waters of this unique and creative alte The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant is an excellent fantasy novel that has mystery, adventure, suspense, magic, and a wonderfully fun and heartwarming heroine. Cordelia Hatmaker is an awesome, feisty, intelligent, and extremely like able character to love and champion on her quest to find out what has happened to her father, as well as trying to navigate her complicated, whimsical world. I enjoyed the obstacles, her ability with her companions to navigate the waters of this unique and creative altered world (unique yet great in that it still gives me a historical fiction, Victorian-London feel). I liked Goose as well. The book is full of fascinating imagery, plot lines, and complex characters. It is labeled as young adult, however I am much older (ok not that much older), and I truly enjoyed everything about it. Could easily be for middle grade-adult readers. This seems to be the first in a series, and I sure hope it is, because it would be a wonderful series to follow and enjoy. 5/5 stars highly recommend Thank you NetGalley and W.W. Norton & Company for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/7/21.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cecewrites23

    This book is an amazing debut magical/ historical fiction middle- grade. The setting was written so well that it makes you think that you are able to taste, smell and see every part of the book and I found myself escaping to Georgian England. I loved the group of characters they were intricate and you made you feel that you were also part of the gang. Cordelia I felt what she was feeling myself having to go through what she has in the book and you could feel her emotions high during the beginnin This book is an amazing debut magical/ historical fiction middle- grade. The setting was written so well that it makes you think that you are able to taste, smell and see every part of the book and I found myself escaping to Georgian England. I loved the group of characters they were intricate and you made you feel that you were also part of the gang. Cordelia I felt what she was feeling myself having to go through what she has in the book and you could feel her emotions high during the beginning of the book. I cannot wait till the next one and will be excitedly waiting for it and cannot wait for more to hear more about it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This was a total cover request but it was one that served me well because this book was absolutely delightful and adorable. The world building is done well and I really enjoyed the premise of this book; I loved the features that went into the hats and the different properties that all the things had (I love the little glossary and comments at the end and felt they just added a real whimsical tone to the book). The characters are delightful; this is the first book in what I hope will be a series This was a total cover request but it was one that served me well because this book was absolutely delightful and adorable. The world building is done well and I really enjoyed the premise of this book; I loved the features that went into the hats and the different properties that all the things had (I love the little glossary and comments at the end and felt they just added a real whimsical tone to the book). The characters are delightful; this is the first book in what I hope will be a series and so hope that we get to explore the characters in the world more. I loved Cordelia, Goose, and Sam and thought they were such a good little troupe of characters. The princess was also a fabulous character and though she didn't appear throughout most of the book, she was still well established and you could understand her motivations. Reading this as an adult it was still an enjoyable read and had such a magical tone to the book that you just couldn't not enjoy it!! The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and so i'm hoping that we will get a sequel to this book. This also looks to be the author's first book so i'm very impressed; the only thing that would have made this a 5* read for me is a little bit more depth in terms of the plotline - the twists were all quite straightforward, and whilst it's a children's book, i'd love there to be a bit more underhandedness going on!! Thank you NetGalley for granting me this eARC. Out on 7th January 2021!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Grabs

    The Hatmakers is a very cute, fast-paced, and creative middle-grade historical novel that centers on Cordelia Hatmaker, her missing father, and magic. When someone starts using their magic to cause chaos, it is up to Cordelia to solve it. This book is a wonderful debut and the first book of a series that will enthrall ten-year-old readers. Thank you, NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. This was such a charming and fun read. It is a middle grade fantasy novel that follows a young girl named Cordelia. She belongs to a family of hatmakers, who make magical hats for people. These hats can be created for someone to help them achieve something specific. We pick up the story as her father has gone missing while going out to sea to get ingredients for hats. This is a story filled with magic, adventure and go I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley. This was such a charming and fun read. It is a middle grade fantasy novel that follows a young girl named Cordelia. She belongs to a family of hatmakers, who make magical hats for people. These hats can be created for someone to help them achieve something specific. We pick up the story as her father has gone missing while going out to sea to get ingredients for hats. This is a story filled with magic, adventure and good fun. I absolutely adored this book. How am I meant to wait until spring 2022 for the sequel though?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    What a magical tale of loss, determination and unwavering love. My children and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with my oldest son (8 year old) and I taking it turn about reading chapters. He was enthralled by the magic of the story and kept asking for one more chapter!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from W. W. Norton & Company through NetGalley. Merchant spins a fantasy world in Victorian England where Makers (crafters) use magic to create clothing for others. Each Maker guild creates a separate type of clothing - Hat, Boot, Glove, Watch, Cloak. In the past, they worked together in one location but a past set of events drove wedges among them. Now they work separately and don't communicate with each other. This is the time when Cordelia lives. She desperately wan I received an electronic ARC from W. W. Norton & Company through NetGalley. Merchant spins a fantasy world in Victorian England where Makers (crafters) use magic to create clothing for others. Each Maker guild creates a separate type of clothing - Hat, Boot, Glove, Watch, Cloak. In the past, they worked together in one location but a past set of events drove wedges among them. Now they work separately and don't communicate with each other. This is the time when Cordelia lives. She desperately wants to make her first hat but is not old enough yet. She tweaks a hat in their store and sets off a series of misadventures that circle through the main plotline. Her father is missing at sea but she refuses to believe he is dead. Her quest to locate him also weaves through the story. The main plot involves the King and Princess of England along with the King of France. The various Makers must design Peace clothing to prevent war. Sadly, their creations are stolen and altered ones replace them. Most of the Makers are arrested and thrown in prison as part of the overall evil plot. Like any good historical fantasy, the unidentified villain is directly involved in the action. Though readers may figure out who this person is, the characters do not until almost too late. The story begins at a slow pace but picks up about a quarter of the way through. From there, the humor and action spin out and offer twists and danger that will keep readers engaged.

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