Rachel Tey, author of the beloved Tea in Pajamas book is back with an intriguing and action-packed sequel.
Her second book, Beyond Belzerac, takes us to new, darker depths as Belle Marie, Tess, and Julien are forced to travel back to Belzerac when they realise that things at home are amiss. They find themselves entangled (and literally on the same boat) with Orpheus and Eurydice, of Greek mythology origins.
While the daring trio is fighting to exit the strange world of Belzerac and return to their loved ones safely, Orpheus and Eurydice, two star-crossed lovers, are too seeking to control their own fates.
I asked Rachel about her inspiration behind weaving the story of Orpheus and Eurydice into the sequel’s narrative. Here’s what she said:
The inspiration came from the actual piece of music called “Melodie” by CW Gluck. The first time I heard it my dad told me it’s from a piece of music called Dance of the Blessed Spirits, and he told me about the tale. I felt intrigued and read up more about the greek myth, and it always stuck with me. I thought it was tragic but beautiful.
Rachel began her own adventure with writing Tea in Pajamas with the goal of encouraging readers to take a step towards greater self-awareness and discernment. Here’s how she illuminates this path:
This is an ongoing journey, and one that’s not linear, with a definitive start and end. Sometimes the dark, uncertain moments can be periods of the most profound growth, so I really wanted to bring that out in this sequel…the struggle of the human spirit.
Vera really enjoyed the sequel – its magical qualities, a hint of a love story, and the tragedy of Greek mythology – appealed to her as an emerging teen. In her words, “It’s not like the other books that have perfect, happy-ever-after endings, and I like the bit of tragedy at the end.”
Her verdict kinda surprised me. I guess I’ve always pictured her as a happy-ever-after kind of girl and haven’t yet put my finger on how much she’s grown and matured! (Hah.)
I read the book myself and found that I enjoyed it even more than the first Tea in Pajamas. Perhaps it’s the good pace of adventure, the heady mix of mystery and romance, or the derring-do of Belle Marie, but whatever the case, Rachel’s writing has an enchanting, ethereal quality that easily sweeps you off your feet (in jammies of course) and lands you in another world.
I’d say it is a perfect companion for the holidays for any 9 to 12 year old. 🙂
Special thanks to Rachel for the review copy of the books. Hop over to our Facebook page to stand a chance to win the Tea in Pajamas book set giveaway!