Review Blog

May 20 2013

The Terrible Trickster by Frances Watts

cover image

Ill. by Gregory Rogers. Sword Girl Book 5. Allen & Unwin 2013. ISBN 9781743313213. 126p. RRP $11.99.
Highly recommended 7-9 year olds. Themes: Medieval Times, Castle Life, Ghosts. Frances Watt's Sword Girl series follow a feisty young girl character Thomasina - Tommy who is Keeper of the Blades at Flamant Castle. A trickster is making castle life a nightmare.
There is sneezing powder in the knights' soup, in Mrs Moon's kitchen the salt is changed for sugar and Sir Walter's sheets are covered in itching powder. Tommy's inquisitive nature leads her into trouble and the blame falls upon her. To clear her name she seeks help from the castle animals, Lil the cat, even the pigeon and the crocodiddle that lives in the moat. The swords she cleans and sharpens, also communicate with Tommy and encourage her to find the trickster.
This is another exciting addition to this series; Frances Watts has created a strong, engaging girl character that readers will come to love. The cast of castle characters wonderfully add to the interest and engagement as Tommy is involved with everyone from Sir Walter to the laundry maids.
Gregory Rogers' pen and ink cartoons add excitement and a fun comic element to the tricks played out in the story.
I highly recommend this story for independent readers from 7 years of age. It would make an exciting Year 2-3 class novel - a great example of a rich narrative story.
Rhyllis Bignell

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