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Igraine The Brave by Cornelia Funke
Translated by Anthea Bell;
Cover Artist: Greg Call
Review by Gayle Surrette
Chicken House Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780439903790
Date: 01 October 2007 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Ingraine, daughter of the Fair Melisande and Sir Lamorak the Wily, doesn't want to be a magician. It's fine for her parents and her older brother Albert, but she's going to be a brave warrior. It's almost her birthday and her parents and brother are working on her present when things go radically wrong.

The castle next door seems to have a new flag, Bertram, Master of Horses to Baroness of Darkrock, comes to warn them about Osmund the Greedy just before Osmund shows up to threaten Igraine and her family. The castle is spelled to protect itself but a spell has gone wrong and Igraine's parents are now very cute pigs; and pigs can't cast spells. This might not be the adventure Igraine was looking for but it does require bravery and common sense -- will she succeed and help her brother change her parents back? Or will Osmund the Greedy take over their castle, too?

With delightful illustrations, witty dialogue, and sparkling characters, this book charms from beginning to end. Igraine is a wonderful character. She's spunky, wise, clever (which as we know is not the same as wisdom), and she's brave. She'll risk everything for those she loves -- and she loves her family, the gargoyles, the talking cat Sisyphus, and even her brother.

Finding books with female heroes and role models is difficult but this book doesn't elevate Igraine by putting down her brother and the male characters. It's even handed and all the characters have their own quirks and personalities. Igraine shines as the rescuer and the plot is fast paced and twisty as well as clever.

Pure delightful fun.

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