‘This is the challenge! ‘First you must find the golden pack of cards! Next you must play the right game! Only then will you learn the secret that will keep you the kingdom! You have three days to complete the task and you must stay together all the time!’
‘The Crunchbone Castle Chronicles’ is a new series of engaging easy-reader novels published by A & C Black and written by Karen Wallace. This humorous series, opening with ‘King Cudgel’s Challenge’, marks a departure for Wallace from the deeply sensitive, character-based novels that explore issues of memory and identity for which she ha become most renowned.
King Cudgel has a problem ‘ or rather a pair of problems ‘ his trouble is twins, the positively petulant Prince Marvin and Princess Gusty Ox. Their reign of terror and terrorisation runs amok through the palace raining on reigning King Cudel’s parade.
At his wits end Cudgel invites his court wizard, pleasingly-onomatopoeically-named-Crackle, to set a challenge for the right royal sibling rivals and both pace and plot pick up with satisfying swiftness as completion of the challenge is attempted. Will Prince Marvin and Princess Gusty Ox ever get on? Will King Cudgel’s dream of a royal retirement to a place overlooking the sea come true and most unnerving of all, if unsuccessful in their efforts will Godric the Geek ascend to the throne at Crunchbone Castle?
Illustrated throughout by Helen Flook’s wonderfully expressive and anarchic snapshots of the action, this is a very promising start to a series aimed at engaging and developing independent reading. Fans to the series are able to eagerly anticipate the the second title ‘Prince Marvin’s Great Moment’ which is forthcoming…