________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 18 . . . . April 27, 2007


Torrie & the Snake-Prince.

K.V. Johansen. Illustrated by Christine Delezenne.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2007.
197 pp., pbk. & cl., $9.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (cl.).           
ISBN 978-1-55451-069-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-070-2 (cl.).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Georgie Perigny.

**** /4


“Who’s there?” Liasis demanded.

The dark figure said nothing, but took a step closer. As Liasis swept the blankets back and sat up, knocking everything clattering off the table, whoever it was flung something towards him. A net.  He saw the glitter of strands as it settled over him, covering him from head to toe even as he tried to beat it off. It was like the nets used for fishing in the mountain lakes, but far, far finer, as though it had been knotted out of spider silk. There were odd, glittering things caught in it. Fish scales? Liasis flailed his arms frantically and yelled for help, but his room was at the top of the empty east tower. He’d liked the privacy, the feeling that the whole tower was his own place. Now it meant that no one could hear him. The strands burned cold where they touched his skin, rather like the feeling you get when you grab frosty metal in the winter. And they tightened, as if they were shrinking around him, pulling his arms to his sides, binding his legs together, constricting his chest so that he felt he could hardly breathe.

“Help!” he gasped, much more faintly now. “Somebody!”

Torrie, the oldest thing of the Wild Forest, is always yearning for an adventure. After hearing rumors about the mysterious disappearance of Prince Liasis, Torrie’s burning itch for a stimulating adventure increases. He soon encounters Wren, a young, lame and restless peddler who is searching for something more in life than just selling beautiful ornaments made from odd scraps. Wren and Torrie instantly become friends and realize that something must be done to save the prince. The kingdom of High Morroway is hastily accusing Rookfeather, the mysterious wandering minstrel and close friend of Queen Demansia, of the kidnapping. There is also talk that Queen Demansia, Prince Liasis’ stepmother, may also be involved in the conspiracy. Wren and Torrie know that they must act quickly.

     After arriving in Hampstead-Above-The-Fall, Torrie and Wren discover that Rookfeather is looking for a hero to rescue the prince. Although Wren feels that she is simply a peddler and not a hero, she apprehensively accepts the challenge. Together, Torrie, Wren and Ash (Wren’s dapple-gray mountain pony) set out to rescue the prince who has been transformed into a snake and held captive by an evil sorcerer. They take readers on an electrifying and perilous quest through the mountains to fight off goblins, deadly dryads and even the sorcerer himself. It is during this ordeal that Wren unearths a startling reality about herself that will assist her in freeing the young prince. 

     Torrie & the Snake Prince is organized into thirteen chapters. A black and white map and a glossary of terms are also included at the beginning of the book to enhance the understanding of the terms and the routes taken by Wren and Torrie. Christine Delezenne’s black and white illustrations complement the story.

     This fantasy novel is another mesmerizing story of trickery and magic that will enchant all readers as they are taken on an escapade involving snakes, toads, goblins and sorcerers. Torrie & the Snake-Prince is easy to read but hard to put down.

Highly Recommended

Georgie Perigny is a teacher at River Valley School in Sundre, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.