Review Blog

Jul 08 2016

The Tale of Elske by Cynthia Voigt

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Tales of the Kingdom. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. ISBN 9781481421904
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children's Literature (2000). I was thrilled to pick up a book by Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt that I had missed when it was first published as Elske. Although part of a series, the book with a new cover and title can be read as a stand-alone and it has become a favourite for me that is sure to be reread in the future.
Elske is a wonderfully brave young woman whose grandmother has sacrificed herself so that she won't be put to death by the Wolfers. Fate brings her to work as a handmaiden to Princess Beriel, a proud and independent young woman who knows her own mind and steadfastly stands up for her rights. Here her loyalty and honesty shine through as Beriel battles to regain her throne.
Voigt has created a fantasy world that seems real, the slight romance at the end of the book will appeal to readers who enjoy love between independent characters, and many like me will want to read the others in the series, The tale of Gwyn (previously published as Jackaroo), The Tale of Oriel (previously Wings of a Falcon) and The tale of Birle (previously On fortune's wheel).
Pat Pledger

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