CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 21 . . . . June 23, 2006
Once again, McCurdy throws the reader into a complete yet utterly fantastic 'other world' populated by dragons, elves, dwarves, trolls, evil winged hunters and other strange creatures. Battle scenes and chase scenes abound and the entire book is a long adventure filled with excitement, danger and suspense for the young fan of fantasy fiction. At the end, McCurdy neatly closes the plot but leaves the door open for the continuation of the saga:
McCurdy uses the same cast of characters in this novel: Miranda, the 10-year-old hero, her friends Nick, Arabelle (Belle), and Penelope (complete with dog, Muffy) and the Druid, Naim. Again the characters of Miranda's friends seem rather one-dimensional and do not really develop over the course of the novel. They do, however, play somewhat larger roles in this book and are more independent of the main character. The grade four teacher, Mr. Little, also reappears, but the circumstances show him simply as a fool again in this book.
The first 200 pages of the book are set in Ottawa and the Gatineau Hills, specifically Kingsmere, the estate of Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King, where there is a portal into the magic world of Ellesmere. This is a nice touch, given King's enthusiasm for crystal balls and conversing with the spirit world.
Once again, McCurdy has come up with a fast-paced adventure story which will appeal to pre-teen or young teen fantasy readers. What it lacks in characterization and depth, it makes up for in excitement and a plot with plenty of twists and turns.
Ann Ketcheson is a former teacher-librarian and teacher of high school English and French. She lives in Ottawa, ON.
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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.