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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Igraine The Brave
by Cornelia Funke
Age Range: 9-11
Igraine, the daughter of The Fair Melisande and Sir Lamorak the Wily of Pimpernel Castle, is approaching her twelfth birthday. She desperately longs for adventure and yearns to be a famous Knight like her great-grandfather Pelleas of Pimpernel. She does not want to practise magic like her parents who are known as the greatest of magicians and own the famous Singing Books of Magic; or like her brother Albert who is learning to be a magician. So when Bertram, Master of the Horse at Darkrock Castle, calls with bad news, little does Igraine realise that her wishes are about to come true. Osmond, nephew of the Baroness of Darkrock Castle, intends to lay siege to Pimpernel Castle and, with the help of Rowan Heartless, the Spiky Knight, steal the Singing Books of Magic. So Igraine’s moment has come and, with some subterfuge, lots of grit and courage in the face of extreme danger, she saves the day.
Another cliff-hanging book by Cornelia Funke who has also done the engaging pen and ink illustrations which sometimes, unusually, frame the text. Anthea Bell’s faultless translation enhances this delightful tale with its gentle humour, nail-biting escapes and suspense galore; a magical romp through the pages of fantasy, gripping the reader from first page to last.