'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 27 March 2014

Review: The Secrets of Flamant Castle

I’ve always been a big fan of the Sword Girl junior fiction novels. Adventure, fun, talking animals, mysteries to solve, ghosts, castles, friendship and a really determined central character who faces each mishap, mystery and challenge head on. What's not to love?

The Sword Girl novels have recently been released in a compilation edition, The Secrets of Flamant Castle, with all six books published during 2012 and 2013 are now available in a single volume. Each story still features the wonderful illustrations by Gregory Rogers present in the original individual novels.

The stories are set at Flamant Castle, where young Thomasina (known to everyone as Tommy) and her friends and constantly stumbling into trouble. At the end of the day, they somehow manage to set everything right, but it isn’t hard to guess that there is more trouble lurking just around the corner.

Tommy is a great character – determined, loyal, positive and adventurous. She starts as a kitchen girl, but her dream is to become a knight. When she becomes the Keeper of the Blades, responsible for the swords in the armoury, she begins to believe that her dream might actually come true.

The stories are suitable for both boys and girls. They are filled with humour and adventure and the mediaeval castle setting offers great opportunities for all sorts of exciting and interesting developments within the story. The stories are also filled with all sorts of little bits of information about everyday life in the castle that add an extra element of interest.

The six stories included in the compilation edition are:
  • The Secret of the Swords (KBR review here)
  • The Poison Plot
  • Tournament Trouble
  • The Siege Scare
  • The Terrible Trickster
  • Pigeon Problem (KBR review here)
For more information on the setting of the series, check out this fantastic guest post by author Frances Watts.

Title: The Secrets of Flamant Castle
Author: Frances Watts
Illustrator: Gregory Rogers
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 27 March 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781743319543
For ages: 7-9
Type: Junior Fiction