cover image The Teeth of the Gale

The Teeth of the Gale

Joan Aiken, Author HarperCollins Publishers $14.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-06-020044-2

In this suspenseful sequel to Go Saddle the Sea and Bridle the Wind , both set in early 19th century Spain, a mature Felix returns, prepared for adventure. Three children have been kidnapped by their father, an escaped political prisoner who is hiding in the mountains. Will Felix be able to free them? Even knowing these are ``wild and heartless times'' because of King Ferdinand's terrible reign, he agrees to try. The trip will give him a chance to see his love, Juana. From the start, it seems that the little party is being followed. The horses are poisoned, and there are further ominous signs of a plot. Whom can they trust? Have they been sent into a trap? Intrigue is Aiken's stock-in-trade, and there is plenty to be found in this novel. While readers may sense a lack of underlying theme and wish for a greater development of Felix's affection for Juana, they could hardly ask for a more diverting, action-filled plot. As usual, Aiken writes with endless inventiveness and ease. Ages 12-up. (Oct . )