by Allan Stratton
Scholastic Canada Ltd
Suggested Ages: 9+
Buy from Indigo
Description: It is the age of the Great Dread. The Dream Witch wants the heart of Princess Olivia. Until she has it none of the kingdom's children are safe. Olivia's parents seek help from the Prince Leo of Pretonia and his uncle, the Duke of Fettwurst, but the treacherous duo seize their castle instead.
It is up to Olivia to defeat the Dream Witch, Prince Leo and his uncle. She makes a daring escape from her turret cell and races to the forest to take on the Dream Witch in her underground lair. Two friends are by her side: the peasant boy Milo and a curious talking mouse with a surprising past.
The Good Stuff
- Once again Stratton delivers a totally delightfully dark, fast paced story that readers both young and old will thoroughly enjoy.
- Fast paced - even the most reluctant reader will eat this up (ok and I couldn`t put it down either, I read it in one day)
- Good for both male and female readers
- Fun fairytale setting with a strong Princess who is willing to sacrifice herself and do what is right. There are talking animals, nasty princes, a creepy witch and magic, what is not to like
- Lots of twists and turns and at times you are not sure that Olivia or Milo are going to survive
- Lots of despicable bad guys to cheer against
- Lots of well meaning involved parents (although seriously, come on King and Queen - you never, ever, EVER ask a dark witch for something - you should know by now that this never works out in your favor)
- Love the mouse!
- Some nice dark humour
- Kids save the day
- Good messages about bravery, friendship, family, growing up, forgiveness and not done in that preachy way that irritates both children and me
- Plenty of dark magic and gross stuff - don`t want to spoil anything but love how the children are stored (Read it, you will understand)
- Fabulous cover
The Not So Good Stuff
- Not as much character development as in The Graverobbers Apprentice, but that may work better for the reluctant reader
`Why do you lie to me ? To shut me up ? To make me feel better ? Well, I don`t feel better and I won`t shut up.``
``That`s another thing. What kind of name is Penelope ?
``It`s no worse than Ephemia.``
`That depends which century you grew up,`` the wizard sniffed.``
`Courage isn`t feeling brave. It`s fighting fear.``
I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review. Thanks guys for once again sending me something truly delightful that I cannot wait to share with my kids, co-workers and customers