Diana Wynne Jones is a master storyteller whose characters are always likeable, unique, and powerfully magical. In this latest tale, scholar Andrew Hope's aged grandfather dies and leaves him an old and enchanted family estate. Andrew knows there is something special about the house and grounds, but he can't seem to pull himself away from the scholarly book he wants to write in order to think about it.
It takes one desperate twelve year old boy to pull Andrew out of his academic stupor. When Aidan Gain turns up on Andrew's doorstep, there's nothing to do but take the boy in. After all, he has some fairly nasty faerie haunts chasing him! Throw in one ill tempered housekeeper and a crotchety gardener, and things start getting tricky. All of a sudden, Andrew is managing his rebellious household staff (who are also strongly magical) while trying to find out who or what is chasing down Aidan. Add in an ancient and maelevolent faerie lord and his several ex wives (Titania and Queen Mab!) and you've got a hilariously chaotic scramble for power.
Somehow the complicated threads of this tale come together in a satisfying conclusion, where the evildoers receive a richly deserved compeuppance, and the heroes end up living in magical harmony. (sort of!) Kids who like fantasy with a dash of humour will enjoy this rollicking tale.
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