A brilliant story, fabulously read. I loved it. A brilliant unfolding of a story all about the 'lives of quiet desperation' lead by ordinary people. The story also captures beautifully the particular eccentricities of Englishness.
It is entirely enjoyable, but as a sequel to The Princess and the Goblins, it is noticeably stodgier. It lacks the fast paced unfolding of the story, with many long detailed digressions into descriptive imagery. However, it is still very rich in narrative detail and good fun to listen to. It is also a bit heavier on the moralism, and consequently less interesting than the Goblins.
I loved it, but wasn't sure my kids (5,9) would understand the language, but found they thoroughly enjoyed it. The reading is clear and well paced, and the rich language was not at all an issue as the context of the story and the vivid narrative made it perfectly comprehensible.
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