The Goblin's Puzzle
January 19, 2016
THE BOY is a nameless slave on a mission to uncover his true destiny. THE GOBLIN holds all the answers, but he’s too tricky to be trusted. PLAIN ALICE is a bookish peasant girl carried off by a confused dragon. And PRINCESS ALICE is the lucky girl who wasn’t kidnapped. All four are tangled up in a sinister plot to take over the kingdom, and together they must face kind monsters, a cruel magician, and dozens of deathly boring palace bureaucrats. They’re a ragtag bunch, but with strength, courage, and plenty of deductive reasoning, they just might outwit the villains and crack the goblin’s puzzle.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Readers who enjoy Lloyd Alexander, J.R.R. Tolkien, Patricia Wrede and Tamora Pierce can never get enough vaguely medieval fantasy books, with castles, kitchen maids, dragons, ogres and sorcerers! This was a breezy adventure tale that allows readers to slip into a fantasy world and enjoy the travels of the characters.
The characters, while fairly typical, all have amusing twists on their personalities, making this just fresh enough to entice readers who have methodically worked their way through every fantasy book they can find, and the ensemble cast will appeal to both boys and girls.
It's extremely difficult to find fantasy books of this type with diverse characters, and I appreciated that even the cover of this showed our main character with the darker skin described in the book. The mystery of his birth and his eventual discovery of his true background will have readers rooting for him. There may be some backlash the he was a nameless slave, and it certainly would have been more clever to make the spunky princess the character of color, but I think the issue is handled in a manner consistent with other medieval fantasies.
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