Thursday, August 8, 2013

Kid-Lit Blog Hop (Better late than never. . .)

Kid Lit Blog Hop Button 145 x 145 
Today's Kid Lit Blog Hop post is a return to the delightful guinea pigs we met in The Princelings of the East.




 

The Princelings and the Pirates,by Jemima Pett. 
113 pages, Smashwords edition, read on my Nook in black and white.
Middle-grade fiction.
I received this book last spring in a giveaway.  A giveaway does imply some commitment to provide a review, but in no way dictates the nature of said review.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and no one else.

Summary:  
Our friends Fred and George of Marsh Castle are back.  They've been living with Prince Lupin, and working on the development of strawberry juice power.  But a wine shortage has darkened the horizon, and Fred and George join with their old friend Victor to visit Chateau Dimerie and find out what's going on.  Along the way, they are pressed into service by pirates, meet a ghost, and are plunged into battle alongside an army that actually knows what it is doing.  Fred and George are no soldiers, but they have guts and brains, and come out okay in the end.  Realism is preserved (if one can speak of realism in a world run by guinea pigs and powered on strawberry juice) as no one escapes unscathed before making their way to the happy ending.

Review:
I am delighted to report that Ms. Pett has returned in this second volume of the Princelings trilogy even stronger than she was in the first.  Subtle changes have made me more comfortable with the idea that these decidedly anthropomorphic characters are, nonetheless, guinea pigs, much as we accept Ratty and Mole of The Wind in the Willows.  The world of the Castles is becoming more clear to me, and the story is fast-paced.  The action seems to me just right for middle grade children (say, ages 9-12, as the writing is not simplistic at all).  Dangers faced are real, and there is some suspense, but violence is minimal and the ending happy.  Fred and George are, as they should be, different men (er, guinea pigs) than they were at the beginning.  There is just a whiff of romance, and a little bit of legal/political business at the end which may not be as exciting to young readers, though it is clearly  important to the development of the series.

Ms. Pett's writing is clear and strong, the book well-edited, with very few awkward moments and no typos that I noticed.  Her illustrations are, as always, delightful, if too small on my Nook.

I am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series, and will reserve that final 1/2 star so that there's room to go up if the next book, as I confidently expect, is even better.  4.5 stars.

Full Disclosure: I won this copy of The Princelings and the Pirates in a 3rd-party giveaway, and received nothing whatsoever from the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own and no one else's.

16 comments:

  1. Guinea pigs and pirates - an intriguing combination!

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    1. The Princelings are just delightful! And they are really nerds, too--much better at thinking than action, though they seem to land on their feet!

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  2. Great review Rebecca,
    I have this one on my Ipad, and I am already enjoying the story, but I loved the first book so it makes sense I will the next. Thanks so much for linking in to the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    1. Wierd. My replies to you and Jemima disappeard. No doubt a classic brain-fail on my part. Just wanted to say thanks, and hope you enjoy the story!

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  3. Thanks so much! There's a nice surprise on my Thursday morning :) The third is my favourite...

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    1. Take two, since the internet (or my brain) ate the first try.

      I am really getting into the little guys! I do have to finish that Terry Pratchett that's about to expire off my Nook, then I can get down to business with the third book and see what develops!

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  4. I look forward to reading this one, too. Thanks for the reminder. Of course, I have Ninja Librarian to read before I get to the second in Jemima's story - I am a tad backlogged. :)

    I enjoy your blog very much. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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    1. Oh, man, tell me about the backlogs! I am so piled up with both writing work and Mom work after being gone for a month! In fact, I'm up early right now and had better go do what I got up to do. . .

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  5. I have heard good things about this series, so I am now looking forward to reading it as well. Thanks for an excellent review and sharing it on Kid Lit Blog Hop!
    -Reshama @StackingBooks.com

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  6. Is it great when a sequel is even better? Excellent review-- thank you for sharing.

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    1. It's always nice to have a series that stays strong. I admit to being as addicted to series as most readers, and I hate it when one goes bad, so it's nice to see the guinea pigs gaining strength.

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  7. To be honest, this book sounds weird to me. :) But it also sounds like one my kids would love! Thanks for sharing this review. I found you at the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I also host a weekly link-up on Thursdays for all things book related at my site, mommynificent.com. I'd love for you to join us anytime! Here's this week's link if you're interested: http://mommynificent.com/2013/08/08/booknificent-thursday-link-up-party-5/
    Have a magnificent week!
    Tina

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  8. Tina, it's definitely fantasy at it's least typical. But I've been enjoying the books a lot.

    I'll drop over and check out your site!

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  9. I really enjoyed the first book in the series and I'm excited to see your review of the second. Sounds like I need to bump it up in priority. Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. :)

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    1. Well, your choice: race through them or stretch them out. There are enough still left for me to read that I'm going ahead with #3, as soon as I deal with a couple of library books.

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