Sarah Reviews… Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson

Title: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball

Author: Laura Ellen Anderson

Publisher: Egmont UK

Publication Date: 5th October 2017

Format: Paperback

About the book:

Meet Amelia Fang.

She loves playing Goblin Tag, and cuddling her pet pumpkin, Squashy. She hates going to her mum and dad’s boring Barbaric Ball. Oh, and one more thing – Amelia is a vampire.

When the spoilt prince of Nocturnia captures Squashy, Amelia must plan a daring rescue. But things in the Kingdom of the Dark may not be all they seem…

Join Amelia on her first abominable adventure. She won’t bite!

What I Thought:

My goddaughter Hannah absolutely raves about this series, they read the first one at school and over the past year or so has slowly completed her collection, I believe she’s currently getting stuck into the most recent release which came out about a week ago. Knowing how much she loves these books I was keen to get stuck into the series so I’d be able to chat about it with her.

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball is the first book in the Amelia Fang series and introduces us to all the key characters in Nocturnia as Amelia’s parents prepare for the annual Barbaric Ball. There’s a change this year though, for the first time in years the king has announced he’ll be attending, and his son, Prince Tangine is joining Amelia at their school the Catacomb Academy.

The book starts with a couple of gorgeous double page illustrations, the first a map of the Kingdom of Nocturnia, showing all the important locations, then comes a gallery filled with portraits of all the main characters including Amelia and her parents, as well as her friends Florence and Grimaldi. After that we’re into the main story line, a story filled with quickfire chapters that move the story on at the perfect pace for younger readers, just the right length for a chapter or two before bed each night, or for a more confident reader to sit with one afternoon. Most pages are accompanied by more pictures which really add to the story but also mean the text is spread out and so its 200+ page count is not as daunting as it may sound for younger readers.

I absolutely loved the characters in the book, the illustrations really brought them to life for me, Grimaldi in particular is extremely cute!

Our central character is Amelia, and she is absolutely wonderful, a young vampire far more interested in spending time with her friends and her pet pumpkin Squashy than following in her mother’s footsteps and preparing for grown life as a countess, a life filled with Barbaric Balls and frilly dresses! She has a great heart though as we discover over and over again at points throughout the book, she adores Squashy and will stand up for her friends, even a new one she makes along the way.

Amelia’s two closest friends at school are Florence the Yeti – she’s definitely not a beast! – and Grimaldi who is a death. Did I mention how cute he is with his little scythe? Honestly Google him! Then we come to Prince Tangine, not the best first impression I must say, to quote Amelia he’s rather a spoilt sprout! However he has a little bit of a redemption journey throughout the book and by the end he’d definitely grown on me so I’m very much looking forward to following them on more adventures!

Final Thoughts

Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball was an absolute blast. As a grown up I flew through it in around an hour but with its fantastic characters and gorgeous illustrations I can easily see why my eight year old goddaughter is so enthralled by this series. I can’t wait to follow Amelia and her friends into the Kingdom of the Light in book two!

The Amelia Fang series on Goodreads

More Laura Ellen Anderson on SWB

About The Author





When she’s not trying to take over the world or fighting sock-stealing monsters, Laura Ellen Anderson is a bestselling children’s book author & illustrator, with an increasing addiction to coffee. She spends every waking hour creating and drawing, and would quite like to live on the moon when humans finally make it possible. Laura is the creator of EVIL EMPEROR PENGUIN and illustrator of WITCH WARS, as well as many other children’s books. The bestselling AMELIA FANG is her first series as author-illustrator.



Connect With Laura

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Want to buy it?


As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?

2 thoughts on “Sarah Reviews… Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball by Laura Ellen Anderson

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Titles That Make You Go Ooh…. – Sarah Withers Blogs

  2. Pingback: Looking Back on 2019 – My Favourite Middle Grade Reads – Sarah Withers Blogs

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