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Guardians of Magic

Guardians of Magic

Chris Riddell
Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 9781447277972

Any new book by the magnificent Chris Riddell is a huge cause for celebration in our school library and Guardians of Magic is certainly no exception. An exquisitely produced book, lavishly illustrated of course, leaves the reader in no doubt about the treat that awaits them.

The endpapers feature a map of the magical land of Thrynne, home to characters from the fairy tale tradition such as giants, bears, flying horses, a large family that lives in a shoe, and kindly monsters made of gingerbread. Yet this is a world that is threatened by the dark forces of villains like the Clockmaker and his Iron Men, by the giant slayers (including the brilliantly bad 'professional princess', and the plague of rats that was once gathered by the Pied Piper. Most worryingly of all, the powerful magic produced by the Forever Tree is now under threat.

Fortunately, there are three brave children in different parts of Thrynne who find themselves thrown onto a path of adventure and who will discover that they have a role in protecting their world using everyday objects that have been carved from Forever wood.

This is genuinely a treat from first page to last, with text and illustration working in perfect harmony throughout. The three protagonists, Bathsheba Greengrass, Phoebe Limetree and Zam Zephyr sweep the reader along through adventures with flying horses, ballet dancing bears, orchestras of cats and invasions of clockwork beetles. Whilst many creatures have a reassuring sense of familiarity, Riddell gives each a unique charm.

Destined to feature on a great many Christmas lists I feel, this story is simply a delight and the Riddell fans in my school will be queuing up to read it. Highly recommended for every school library!

308pp / Recommended for age 7+ / Reviewed by Emily Marcuccilli, school librarian


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