The Befana Drama 2
Befana Drama 2: Capriccia’s Conundrum is another adrenaline-filled, magical adventure for children aged 9+ featuring the wonderful Bef and her friends and foe, with some characters from Befana Drama 1 and some amazing additions to the character list! It has a dynamic that’s a little darker than Befana Drama 1, while still retaining touching moments and episodes of great humour.
Having saved her VIPB patch and brought ‘The Three Kings’ to her small town, Bef has never been so popular. In fact, she has so many fans she is opening her own theme park – Befland. Her friends Gaspar, Mel and Thaz (The Three Kings), Jeremiah Needlebaum, Marianna and the new mayor, Mr Passarella are all involved in the plans for its opening, which is only weeks away. However, Bernhardt Bürstenfrisür is out to ruin it.
Bernhardt finds the terribly vain Capriccia Claus working as a waitress in Hamburg (readers of Book 1 will be able to guess how she got there!) and tells her that her magnificent shoe collection, housed in her garish Casa of Contentments in Lapland, is being eaten away by moths and her clothes destined for a charity shop. She becomes so angry, she agrees to fly with Bernhardt to be trained in black magic by another of Bef’s enemies, a bad fairy called Fiery Tina.
Fiery Tina was once the head of the Florence branch of the fairies (as mentioned in Befana Drama 1), but she fell out with Bef in the 15th century and has never forgiven her. This is a truly demented fairy with an obsession for hopscotch and a crooked neck, as one of her ‘selfie’ spells once went wrong and left it set at a very strange angle. Nevertheless, this quixotic fairy is an expert at statuefication and claims she created all the famous statues in Florence, including that of ‘David’!
She trains the very dim and lazy Capriccia in the art of statuefication, so they can plan revenge on Bef, but then Bef’s enemies receive powerful knowledge. The 81st elf, now calling himself ‘Sly’, arrives in Bef’s village and discovers that Bef must never again call herself The Befana, or she will break her pact with Old Father Time and become an old, haggard witch again. He takes this powerful knowledge to Capriccia and Fiery Tina and Fiery Tina decides to create a conundrum to trap Bef and ruin her once and for all.
One by one, the evil plotters capture the things and people Bef loves most, turning them to stone and delivering a letter to Bef, as part of the conundrum, each time they do so, leaving her baffled as to what their real aim can be.
Meanwhile, in Lapland, the Northern Lights have turned to red – a sign in Lapp mythology that trouble is brewing. Lars takes action and consults the Rock of Erik the Enraged, which offers assistance, but which also leaves Lars puzzled.
To show resilience, Bef, Gaspar and another VIPB resolve to go ahead with the opening of Befland, but things do not go quite as planned, by some way! This is the start of a thrilling unravelling of the plot, which sees Lars trying to come to the rescue, with a little help from some friends and which has Sly becoming a lynch-pin who could tip things either in favour of Bef, or back in favour of her enemies.
Children will be enthralled in the final chapters and left wondering who will succeed and who will fail. With action set in Italy, Germany and Hollywood, the global dimension to this story is carried right through to the end.
In the final scenes, Capriccia demonstrates how evil she has become. The seeds are sown in Befana Drama 2 for a third book in the series, which is planned for 2015! Befana Drama 2 launches at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 22, 2014.