What a treat!

A heart-melting review of The Quite Contrary Colin Pluck by a 10-year-old girl, complete with a portrait of the main character! How good is that?

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The Quite Contrary Colin Pluck

The Buccaneers of Backwater

I, the Conquistador

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Contrary to my carefully planned earlier itinary, I didn’t take the choo-choo train, but instead set on foot to conquer Snowdon! Which I did with very little exertion.
I set off after a hearty breakfast (full English with the exception of a withered sausage). At that point I was considering seeing Steve off only to the first steep ascent and scampering promptly to the train station to keep up with his progress from my carriage window.
However, once my competitve spirit kicked in, there was no stopping me. At halfway point, some 550m up into the trek, I was feeling on top of the world already. And when I got to the top, I must say, I could hardly believe it.
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If the conquest of a big, bad mountain wasn’t enough, I have also rolled up my sleeve and completed The Buccaneers of Backwater, my last story for children. More about it another time once it has been proof-read and edited. It is the last book for children as my only child-reader is getting on and children’s adventures won’t hold her interest for much longer. I won’t stop writing (that would be like cutting out my tongue) but I will move to writing for adults. I will start a new dedicated blog.

Well, there I conquered the mountain and I conquered yet another story. I, the Conquistador, bless my cotton socks!

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart is the first book in the Inkworld  trilogy written by Cornelia Funke and translated from German by Anthea Bell. I was recommended this book by one of my pupils in Year 6 and from the moment I opened it, I could not put it down.

The story takes the reader into the fantasy world of books where fictional characters come to life and change the course of reality. There is suspense, evil and goodness, fear and courage written into the storyline. The descriptions of settings are rich and so vivid that I felt myself transported into Elinor’s amazing library or Capricorn’s gloomy castle.  I was captivated right from the first page.

Inkheart follows the adventures of a 12-year-old girl called Meggie. Her life changes dramatically when she discovers that her father, a bookbinder named Mo (as Meggie always calls him), has an uncanny ability to bring characters from books into the real world by reading out loud. When Meggie was three years old, Mo read a book called Inkheart aloud to her mother. In an instant, Meggie’s mother, Resa, vanished into the Inkworld and three men from the novel (two of whom, Capricorn and Basta, are murderous villains) entered into the real world. Nine years later, these men have come back into their lives and Mo, Meggie, and Resa’s aunt Elinor need to return the villains back to the book’s pages.

The battle against evil has many twists and turns and the reader can never be sure of the final outcome. At first it seems that Meggie and friends stand no chance and will have to bend to the will of the powerful Capricorn in order to survive. I found myself fearing that there was no hope as treacherous events led to the final, spectacular resolution.

My favourite character is Dustfinger, one of the three characters brought out of a book. I like his internal conflict: on the one hand he wants to help Meggie despite the dangers, but on the other his only – selfish – purpose is to return to his story. You never know what he will do and he never ceases to surprise the reader with his choices.

I would recommend the story to any fluent reader over the age of 10. Inkheart is a feast of a great read that will take into a world you never knew existed, but once you’re there, you will instantly feel part of it – heart and soul.

Be Done on Earth, volume 2 of the “In the Web of Time” trilogy

After the night’s heavy storm, the morning air rose cool and clear over the Tannenberg plains. Edgar Kegel looked to his left.  With his visor up, Marshal Wallenrod was scanning the enemy lines on the horizon. There was no fear in his eyes as there was no fear in Edgar’s heart. God was on their side. The enemy was a mismatch of pagan barbarians led by the treacherous Poles. They called themselves a Christian nation but deep down in their rotten hearts, Edgar knew, they were nothing more than unholy heathens. God would not support those traitors; God would go with the righteous.

The Knights of the Teutonic Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary were righteous. They were righteous and pious; they were fearless and utterly devoted to carrying God’s banners to the shamefully pagan Baltic shores. They had brought God to Samland on the tips of their swords and, over the last hundred years, they had forced the Sambians to either their knees or their graves. And now the Sambians had crawled to the Polish king and begged for help. The Poles had gathered an army of heathens and dared to challenge The Order to a battle. They would be wiped out. It was God’s will.

It was July 15th, the year of Our Lord 1410.”

To continue reading, please CLICK HERE

The images link to my Kindle and paperback bookstore

This is part 2 of the “In the Web of Time” trilogy. Just like the first volume (“Be Gone”) it has taken me only a few months to write. The entire story was ready-formed in my mind – it flew onto the paper. There was no sweat of the brow to speak of: the characters were alive in my imagination, the place was a familiar town I frequently travel to for work and the plot was a story I hear about only too often. People simmering with prejudice and contempt for anything out of the ordinary and for anyone who dares to be different are probably in majority today as much as they were in the Dark Ages.

And this is what this book is about: intolerance and bigotry. But it is also about survival through friendship; it is also about standing up to the overwhelming majority, and about about holding your ground.

I am glad I have written this book. Before I write part 3 however, the last in this series, I may venture into writing for adults. There is a story that is asking to be put on paper – for some reason it is very persistent. I may well give in to its demands. If I resist the temptation, then part 3 of “In the Web of Time” will begin to take shape. In some ways, it would be neat to finish the trilogy first, but I don’t seem to be the master of my Muse.

If anyone finds time to read the extract, please let me have your thoughts. Any feedback will be treasured.

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