Temmi and the Flying Bears by Stephen Elboz (1998)
These flying bears are really cuddly, especially the baby one called Cush who Temmi befriends and rescues from the Witch-Queen's Ice Castle.
When Cush is first captured by the grim soldiers of the Witch-Queen, Temmi follows their trail through the snow but is soon captured himself. Forced to march to the Ice castle, Temmi cares for Cush's broken wing and continues as his keeper, both of them playthings of the spoilt Princess Agna.
But the old Witch-Queen Haggoth is dying and the Princess Agna may not be powerful or experienced enough to take her place. Whose side will the fierce Lord Thurbolt (Tin Nose) and his Lady Sybia take? When Temmi uncovers a plot he realises he must save not only himself and Cush but others also, including several assorted dwarfs.
I think you'll enjoy the dwarfs. They squabble and pinch.
The game of dwarf skittles was played along an ice-floored corridor. The rules were simple enough to be gathered at a glance. In fact they were the same as in ordinary skittles, the only difference being that the wooden pins were replaced by living dwarfs; and the Princess took aim at their shins with a heavy wooden ball. When the ball hit a dwarf he was supposed to lie down. But dwarfs, as well as being first-rate pinchers, were also champion cheats and extraordinarily bad losers. Temmi smiled as he watched them inch this way or that from the path of the ball, or simply deny that it struck them at all. The Princess screamed with rage, threatening all manner of horrible tortures, but to no avail.
This is an exciting rescue story with a happy ending written in a clear brief style.
What can I read next?
If you enjoy this book, there is a sequel!
Stephen Elboz has written plenty of other books too. You might like to look at these:
This one by Weem Whitaker might interest you:
I should think you would enjoy something by Diana Wynne Jones. Have a look at the Dalemark Quartet:
- Cart and Cwidder
- Drowned Ammet
- The Spellcoats
- The Crown of Dalemark
One more suggestion. You might enjoy this one by Robert C O'Brien:
Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:
- The Midnight Folk by John Masefield (Score: 89%)
- Temmi and the Frost Dragon by Stephen Elboz (Score: 86%)
- The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman (Score: 86%)
- Highway Robbery by Kate Thompson (Score: 86%)
- The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley (Score: 82%)
Temmi and the Flying Bears features in these lists: