There is absolutely tons of magic in this book, some of it quite serious and some of it quite funny. To start with you meet the sensible Princess Eleanor who has a rather difficult wild mother to cope with. Out hunting one day Eleanor's mother, the Queen, bravely rescues The Lady of the Woods from the swollen river. The Lady of the Woods is a Good Witch who grants the Queen one wish in thanks for saving her life. Well, the Queen has everything she needs already so she finally decides to ask for Magic and Mystery.
The wish is granted, but unfortunately the Lady of the Woods has a sworn enemy - the Bold Enchanter- who lives on the Moon. He has stolen her wand and so when the wish for Magic and Mystery is granted we don't get good magic but bad magic. The realm is overrun with seriously nasty goblins and ghostly hauntings.
Sensible Princess Eleanor reckons that if the kingdom is to be cleared of the bewitchment she had better do it herself, so she teams up with Tom the miller's son who is also extremely sensible and they embark on a tremendous quest to challenge the Bold Enchanter in his own lair. I was quite surprised to learn that the moon is completely made up of cheese (though you probably won't be) and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the cheesy landscape. Bubbling fondue lava flows and craggy parmesan cliffs... I also enjoyed their flight to the moon, though I will leave you to see how that spell worked for yourself.
Obviously the Princess and the miller's son make a good team and are quick witted enough to withstand the Bold Enchanter's magic and illusions. And, since this is a proper fairy tale, there is a proper happy ending. No loose ends!
What can I read next?
If you enjoy this book you might also like to look at anything by Helen Cresswell:
And Gillian Cross writes some books for younger readers which are really enjoyable. Just check before you start, because she writes for older readers too. Have a look at:
Stephen Moore has written a charming magic story about a fairy crossroads:
And I'm absolutely positive you will love anything by Odo Hirsch. Have a look at:
Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:
- Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones (Score: 93%)
- Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Score: 93%)
- Stig of the Dump by Clive King (Score: 93%)
- Clemency Pogue, Fairy Killer by J T Petty (Score: 89%)
- Hamish and the Fairy Gifts by Moira Miller (Score: 89%)
The Bold Enchanter features in these lists: