Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Jackson and Anna are very different. Both are in their last year of primary school, and while Jackson is sporty and on the swimming and athletics teams, Anna is the nerdy kid who hates sport and is number one player on the chess team. But when Jackson joins the chess team, things change, not just for Anna but for everyone at school, even the nasty Flash Buckley- is he really that nasty? A fab story for 7+ about friendships, school cliques, sport and chess, complete with some handy chess diagrams and quotes from the Grandmasters.
Hannah is a girl of 'quality' aka she wears pretty dresses in her nice house and always has enough to eat. Until she is abandoned by her father and unjustly accused of stealing, and therefore thrown onto a ship full of convicts headed to Australia for some hard time. Scatterheart is a beautiful but selfish and flighty fairytale girl who is sold by her father to a big white bear. Their stories run parallel throughout the book, and it is just SO SO good. There are heaps of great historical tidbits, interesting ones they didn't teach you in school, like the mermaid dance and the black pit. There is also a bit of romance, a rather large amount of murder, and a wee bit of scurvy. Wilkinson writes so vividly I felt like I was the one stuck in the hull of the Derby Ram while rats nibbled my freezing shoeless toes. It's bloody fantastic.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
About the size of a large flat brick, it took me until about half way through this book until i could work out whether it was really really good, or really very bad. When i finally finished it i decided that while it wasnt really really good, it was still strangely charming, and very funny in parts though a bit to long and involved to not create a small headache trying to remember where the miriad of characters fitted in.
Beginning and ending with Kalix MacRinnalch, an anorexic and scottish emo teenage werewolf, outcast from a clan of insanely violent yet democratic werewolves, this tome follows the clans politically intense and bloody process of electing a new Thane.
A bunch of other mad characters get involved with the MacRinnalch family including the fabulous fire queen Malveria, who is totally deranged and utterly wonderful with her all encompassing passion for fashion and her warrior princess type battle skills, as well as her almost adopted neice Agrivex, a volcano destined sacrifice until rescued on a whim.
Long and involved, sometimes clunkily written yet fun and exciting and at times quite dark, what with the laudanum addicted, cross dressing and nympho werewolves, it also has Bold and the Beautiful style drama. Ill probably read the sequel.