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Publisher's Summary

In early 20th-century Vienna, Annika is raised by Ellie and Sigrid, a cook and housemaid for a household of three professors. Abandoned when she was a baby, Annika dreams of the day her mother will come back to claim her.

Then one day, it happens. A glamorous woman arrives and sweeps Annika away to a crumbling castle in Germany. But there is much more to this new woman than meets the eye - and none of it is good.

©2004 Eva Ibbotson (P)2004 W F Howes

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I can't believe this has just been sitting in my audible library all these years!

This book starts off a little slow, by quickly picks up, and you fall in love with all the characters the minute you meet them (well, the good ones, at least). I am very picky about endings, and for a while I thought I wouldn't like this book, but I guess that's what a good author does -- make you worry! And the ending was very satisfying. One thing I don't understand -- why is the book called "the Star of Kazan"? I mean, sure, it's mentioned plenty, but it is only one of many jewels. I think they should have called it "the Glass Jewels" or maybe "the Secret of Shpital (I don't really know how it's spelled)" or just "Annika". But I have absolutely no complaints other than the title. Even the narrator is excellent.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Maarya
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 09-18-08

blah!!!

Don't be fooled by the mysterious description. This book is a flop. With a plot line as weak and terrible as cottage cheese coupled by the worst reader possible, I'm amazed this even got published

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-21-18

Great story

Very good children’s story from the perspective of a 12 year old girl.
You could see how the storyline would ‘pan out’ but what made it really enjoyable listening was the psychologically believable portrayals of the characters and the fascinating insights into life in Vienna.
The narration was good and I will be listening to more books by Eva ibbotson.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Catriona
  • 03-25-09

sweet and light

This was a lovely story. I hadn't realised it would be aimed at younger listeners as I've only ready Eva Ibbotson's books with adult characters, but even so I enjoyed it. The plot developments were easy enough to spot, but the pleasure was in the characters and the narrative.