Review Blog

Jun 03 2010

The headless highwayman by Ian Irvine

cover image

Grim and grimmer series. Omnibus, 2010. ISBN 9781862918580.
The first in the series, The headless highwayman, is a gripping if unusual tale of thieves and highwaymen caught in a different world, in which our hero, Ike, finds himself. Orphaned and alone, he is bullied at school, not least by his teacher, the odious Mister Flogger. Expelled for stealing Flogger's pen, he returns to his guardian's farm where the pen draws a door on the wall, and Ike goes through, with fascinating results. He finds himself in a world where things are not what they seem, and instead of rescuing the princess, as he believes he is doing, he puts her into even more peril, and her supporters want to kill him. He is saved in the nick of time, by the most unbelievable of rescuers, a headless horseman. Plunged into a world where thievery is lauded, unless you are caught, Ike has trouble working out just who are on his side, and mayhem results.
Boys particularly will thrill with this new series, as it twists and turns around the incredible place. The strangest protagonists and enemies appear, giving the author an outlet for his odd humour, with funny turns of language which will cause mirth amongst its readers. The pace, setting, characters and language are enticing and will hold the interest of upper primary people.
Fran Knight

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