The Star-Spun Web


Here at NSTBA HQ, we are thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Sinéad O’Hart’s wonderful new book, ‘The Star-Spun Web’. Our slot is the 7th February- it’s book birthday-, but before that, we wanted to share our review of this brilliant story.


Orphan, Tess de Sousa, lives at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings. No ordinary child, Tess is passionate about science, conducting her own experiments in the basement and has a pet tarantula, Violet. Happy in the home with her friends, thriving on the affection shown by Miss Ackerbee, Tess is shocked when a stranger, claiming to be a distant relative, comes to adopt her. Hoping to find some clues to her mysterious past, Tess embarks on new life at Roedeer Lodge, but soon realises that her ‘relative’, Mr Cleat is not all he seems. He obviously knows more about her- and the strange device left with her as a baby- than he originally claimed. As Tess discovers what the Starspinner can do, she realises that she is at the centre of a terrible plot- one which she must stop no matter what.

‘The Star-Spun Web’ is one of those books which you have to read in one go! A real page turner, it is a captivating story, full of magic and mystery.

Tess is a wonderful character. Her scientific ability, curious mind and determination make her very appealing and engaging. The relationship between her and Violet is ingenious and adds touches of humour and emotion. Tess’s loyalty to her pet and to her friends at Miss Ackerbee’s and her new found friend at Roedeer Lodge also add to her appeal. Other characters are as well developed; Wilf and the other girls at the home, Millie, Thomas- each is full of personality.

The plot is ingenious, combining parallel worlds, evil adults, dark intentions, fantasy, family, loneliness, friendship and loyalty. It also offers a touch of Irish history which is explored further in the author’s note at the end. Imaginative and satisfying, this is a must read whose ending hopefully leaves the door open for more adventures to follow!

The Star-Spun Web Sinéad O’Hart

Stripes ISBN: 978-1788950220

Published 7th February 2019.

You can read our review of ‘The Eye of the North’ here.