Dido Twite is aboard the Thrush, trying to return to England after her adventures in America. But orders have been sent to find Lord Herodsfoot, said to be on Aratu, the Pacific 'Island of the Pearl Snakes'. Snakes are the least of Dido's worries as she and her companions struggle through the jungle. On Aratu, she is helped by spirit magic but also meets settlers who will stop at nothing to achieve their ends. And what is this strange royal residence called Limbo Lodge?
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(199mm x 130mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This addition to the 'James III Sequence' that began with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is something to get excited about. It is rare these days to come across a novel of such weight and complexity of language published for children, but this substantial book is perfect for strong readers who like a challenge. The main character, Dido must search for one of the King's noblemen on a remote island and bring him back to England, travelling through the jungle, avoiding the deadly pearl-snakes and sting-monkeys that lie in wait. This story fits between The Stolen Lake and The Cuckoo Tree, but can be read happily on its own. (12 yrs +) (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Joan Aiken
Joan Aiken was born in Sussex in 1924. She was the daughter of the American poet, Conrad Aiken; her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge, is also a novelist. Before joining the 'family business' herself, Joan had a variety of jobs, including working for the BBC, the United Nations Information Centre and then as features editor for a short story magazine. Her first children's novel, The Kingdom of the Cave, was published in 1960. Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books for young readers and adults and is recognized as one of the classic authors of the twentieth century. Amanda Craig, writing in The Times, said, 'She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew.' Her best-known books are those in the James III saga, of which The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was the first title, published in l962 and awarded the Lewis Carroll prize. Both that and Black Hearts in Battersea have been filmed. Her books are internationally acclaimed and she received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction in this country for The Whispering Mountain. Joan Aiken was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books. She died in 2004.