Both the audio and the print versions of Magic Marks the Spot are excellent. The book is written in a wonderful, story-telling style, and Katherine Kellgren's narration is ideal. At the same time, the print version has fanciful pen and ink illustrations, along with handwritten letters, newspaper clippings and excerpts from books about etiquette and piracy that are well worth seeing.
In its combination of fantasy, magic and an independent, feisty heroine, Magic Marks the Spot reminds me of Diana Wynne Jones' book, Howl's Moving Castle.
Katherine's narration is awesome. Each character has a distinctive voice, from the cultured and erudite governess, Miss Greyson, to the swashbuckling pirates of the High Seas. Hilary, while young, sounds strong and determined, and the gargoyle, who is hundreds of years old, sounds as though he was just sculpted from the granite quarry. Who knew you could make a character sound so "gravelly"?
I laughed all the way through this book. Its tongue in cheek humor will be appreciated by adults and children alike.
I would recommend Magic Marks the Spot to anyone, from 7 to 70, who enjoys a fast-paced piratical story. It has a delightful cast of characters, all of whom are cleverly brought to life by Katherine Kellgren's excellent narration.
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