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Publisher's Summary

The sequel to The Winter of Enchantment and the return of Mantari the magic cat.

Sebastian and Melissa would never forget their arrival at the house called Hadlows. The long drive through the neglected park and woodland, the lake glimpsed through trees, the house, with its "thousand windows" looking down on them and the great hall, empty but for the portraits covering the walls. Hadlows held a secret, of that they were sure.

©1972, 2007, 2020 Victoria Clayton Limited (P)2020 Victoria Clayton Limited

What listeners say about The House Called Hadlows

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Such an Enjoyable Read!

I'm back and with more Sebastian and Melissa! The House Called Hadlows is the second book in this delightful series and I am continuing to fall in love with these books. There is a soft spot in my heart for classic children's books and the magic that they always seem to have within. Plus there's something just so relaxing/home-y about books like these!

This is one of those books that you read and read again because you feel like you're going home. The story is filled with adventure and magic and plenty of classic elements, but it will still stand out and survive in your memory (much like Narnia persists today). And while this story may not lead you to extensive literary discussions, it is one that will just cause pure enjoyment. And that's something that I think we all need right now. A chance to indulge in a little of our childhood.

As with the first book I absolutely loved reading this book as an audiobook. There's something just so perfect about audiobooks and classic children's stories. Especially when I love the narrator and could listen to her all day. This series just begs for you to curl up on a couch and get all cozy as you enter its unique world.

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Fun Middle Grade Adventure

What drew me to this title was a review quote by Neil Gaiman, and I later discovered that he wrote a whole blog post in praise of this book. Knowing that he loved it was all I needed to know! I promptly requested a review spot on the tour for the Sebastian and Melissa books with The Audiobookworm Promotions. (Thank you to all involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are my own and my review is completely honest.) Now that I've finished this book I'm not at all surprised that Neil Gaiman loved this book, as it reminds me so much of his own work.

The House Called Hadlows is a charming Middle-Grade Fantasy Adventure set in the UK. Following their adventures in book one, Sebastian and Melissa arrive at a house called Hadlows where they are to board with their aunt and uncle. It quickly becomes apparent to the pair of children that paranormal things are happening here, and soon they're tangled up in a series of magical quests to set things right and restore Hadlows and its inhabitants, both living and deceased. They end up trading off, each going on different quests one after another, on missions that transport them through time and space and put them shoulder to shoulder with gods, kings, and a variety of other interesting characters.

At times some of the characters and adventures reminded me of C. S. Lewis's work in general and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in particular. Although this title is the second book in a series, much like The Chronicles of Narnia it reminded me of, it absolutely can be read and enjoyed without first reading the previous book.

I received a review copy of the new audiobook recording, narrated by Kim Bretton and released in July 2020. Kim Bretton's narration is entertaining and easy to listen to. I listened at 1.5x speed, which is my normal audiobook playback preference, and found it felt a little fast. Listeners who prefer a slow narrator may be tempted to slightly decrease playback speed. I enjoyed the accents used for some of the characters encountered on the children's' adventures, but question why the character Pan (a Greek God and the origin of the term pandemonium) was performed with a thick Scottish brogue.

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  • Angel
  • 10-16-20

Excellent book

Lovely book and brilliant narration. So imaginative. Great follow up to the winter of enchantment which is a classic.

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  • Readalot
  • 03-31-21

Sequel to The Winter of Enchantment

The House Called Hadlows is the slightly less successful sequel to one of my favourite books. I say slightly less because it has a few inconsistencies that could have been so easily fixed by a good editor, or by the author herself. I have no idea why this wasn't done. They're not too terrible, I suppose- Selina/Melissa's mother's name has changed, and events that happened a year ago are spoken of as if they'd happened long ago. I kept thinking... but that was only last year! (Well, according to the children's ages it was.) Still, it is an enjoyable fantasy with a ghost story running through it. Beautifully narrated, as was its prequel. Oh, and one seeming inconsistency turns out not to be at all, or not entirely. I do think the aunt and uncle (trying to avoid spoilers) could perfectly well have been in their seventies though rather than the suggested almost one hundred.