Review Blog

Oct 10 2012

Sword girl series by Frances Watts

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Ill. by Gregory Rogers. Allen and Unwin, 2012.
(Age: 6-9) Recommended. Medieval fiction.
Two more chapter books for newly independent readers in this highly engaging series about Tommy, (short for Thomasina) who has become the Keeper of the Swords at Flamant Castle. She is a very likeable character, caring, clever and a problem solver.
Set in medieval times, there is plenty of incidental information for the young reader about life in a castle, the work of the Smith who makes the swords and armour and the food that people ate, including eels. Cures, like using pigeon droppings to help cure a cold will delight the young reader. Aided by the rambunctious illustrations by Gregory Rogers, the story is a treat for newly emerging readers, full of life and interest of the times. The books are also laced with humour, especially around the crocodiddle who lives in the moat, but there is a serious side as well. Add the talking cat, Lil, and old swords that also talk, adventure and action and you have a winning series for newly independent readers, both boys and girls to enjoy.
Pat Pledger

Tournament trouble ISBN 1742379893, sees Tommy having to take the place of the injured squire in a castle tournament. But Tommy has never been on a horse, let alone joust in a tournament.
The siege scare ISBN 1742379907. With the knights away at the tournament at Castle Roses, the enemy comes to Flamant Castle, and surrounds it, laying a siege. But Tommy is there to save the day.
A fascinating series of now four books in this series will engage younger readers with lots of information, laced with humour.
(The first two, The secret of the swords and The poison plot are just as engaging, and students will watch out for the next in the series.)
Fran Knight

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