Raven Mysteries: Magic and Mayhem by Marcus Sedgwick
|Raven Mysteries: Magic and Mayhem by Marcus Sedgwick|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A sunnier, fluffier entry to the children's gothic japery series, but probably among the best of them.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: March 2011|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Life is never completely dull at Castle Otherhand. Edgar the resident raven may get bored a little, and end up pecking and plucking at things he shouldn't, but that at least keeps the humans there on their toes. And even Edgar must admit to being rushed off his talons when he has to save the day yet again, this time from death by cabbage, and things that go quack in the night.
Yes, this fifth book may lose a little of the gothic mystery of before, and not have the usual supernatural elements, but the title is definitely appropriate. It's a very bright mix of oddball action and bizarre japery, related as ever by out favourite big-headed black bird.
There's no sign of the creators slacking, however far into the series they go. Sedgwick continues to provide some great lines for egotistical Edgar, as well as reining in his wackiness just enough to keep the plot and characters on the right side of too-odd. The adult will probably find a name from the very end of the book the funniest thing here, and the illustrator almost saves his best til last too, with a priceless expression on a raven-pecked animal's face.
But it remains a franchise for the young, and a very good one it is too. It's such a breezy read, with a plot both near-unguessable but easily followed. Words and pictures combine for an enjoyable atmosphere and a very entertaining time - and this before the brussels sprouts theories. Highly recommended.
I must thank the publishers Orion for my review copy.
The series started with Flood and Fang. We interviewed the hungry author back in 2009 regarding one of his many books for older children here. For a more routine spooky book for this audience we enjoyed Slightly Jones Mystery: The Case of the Glasgow Ghoul by Joan Lennon.
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