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The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson

The Star of Kazan is a book full of plot twists and mysterious turns that will keep you reading constantly cover to cover. Interested? Keep reading! Our main character comes in the form of 12 year old Annika, abandoned by her mother at birth and raised as a servant by three Viennese professors. In this home, Annika has a happy life and is greatly loved, particularly by her two adopted mothers, Ellie and Sigrid, the cook and housemaid. Annika has two wonderful friends whom she shares many memories with and is close with a rich and elderly neighbour named La Rondine. Her life is a perfectly happy one, yet Annika always feels like something is missing, and that missing piece is her birth mother. This leaves Annika longing for something she cannot have, or can she?


When this discontent begins to settle in particularly, Frau Edeltraut von Tannenberg of a wealthy German family arrives at the Professors’ door with documents that prove that Annika is her long lost daughter! This is an incredible revelation! Not only has Annika miraculously been sent her birth mother, but she is part of an incredibly wealthy family to boot! After an emotional goodbye, Annika sets off with Frau Edeltraut von Tannenberg to her new home in Germany and begins a new life as a Tannenberg.


In Germany, Annika struggles to adjust to her new status, not being able to do many of the things she did daily back in Vienna. She makes friends with the stable boy Zed, and their friendship blossoms throughout the time they spend together in the book. When in Germany, Annika starts to feel that all is not as she was told. Although the house she now lives in is huge, it is also tattered and in need of repairs. Her mother is clearly not as wealthy as she suggested. This doesn’t phase Annika however, happy in her knowledge that she is with her mother finally, after twelve years of waiting! Annika soon discovers that the Tannenberg fortune was gambled away, but after a few trips, he mother seems to have re-instilled the luxury the family is accustomed to.


However, now Annika is sent off to a boarding school, and a horrible one at that! This is not what she expected from a mother who loves her! Stuck in an awfully strict boarding school, it’s up to Zed to discover what’s going on. He has his suspicions and rides to the Professors in Vienna to ask for their help. But whether he’s on the right track, and whether they manage to save Annika from her cruel fate is a mystery you can discover by reading the book yourself!! The Star of Kazan is a beautifully written novel with a particularly potent moral to learn from at the end, and is a book for all ages to enjoy! Have fun!

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