The Robe of Skulls
Vivian French, , illus. by Ross Collins. . Candlewick, $14.99 (200pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-3531-2
Take a bedraggled, evil sorceress with a dire need for gold and a dimwitted troll for a sidekick, an impish prince with a goody-two-shoes twin brother, a noble-hearted yet naïve young maiden and her conniving stepsister with a chip on her perfectly slim shoulder, throw them into a screwball fairytale, and the result approximates French's (the Tiara Club series) latest. Intersecting plotlines map each of the four major characters' individual journeys over the brambly hill and through the enchanted woods until their fortunes collide for better or for worse at—what else?—a ball. What follows is as wacky as it is entertaining: as princes galore are zapped into frogs, quirky elements like mazes that change direction and talking bats move the story along. As any fairytale fan knows, there's always a happy ending to look forward to, and this one doesn't disappoint. The elaborate b&w sketches, on the safe side of macabre, add to the fun. Ages 7–9.
Reviewed on: 07/07/2008
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4418-9028-3
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-7636-4364-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-9211-9