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Patterson, Nancy-Lou.

Erin (Ont.), The Porcupine's Quill, c1985. 223pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-88984-075-X.

Grades 6-9
Reviewed by Nancy E. Black

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

This is the sentimental tale of Prince Garth and Irmengarde who embark on individual quests of knowledge, adventure, and ultimately, each other. Their travels take them throughout the Apple Kingdom, where they meet a variety of people and become involved in a variety of situations. While the author is to be commended for creating an imaginative setting and theme, this novel is a disappointment. The development of the plot, predictable from the beginning, lacks the energy to consistently maintain the interest of the reader. As well, in attempting to recreate a fairy-tale mood and style, much of the writing is stilted and awkward. This unfortunately slows the smooth unfolding of the story and again makes it difficult for a reader to maintain interest. A necessary element in arousing a reader's curiosity is lacking here, and many readers may not finish the story. Similarly, characters are flat and uninteresting, failing to capture the reader's sympathy. The characters are simply not well developed enough to have their own personalities, which would give more depth and substance to the story line. The format of the book is quite pleasing with its quality of paper, and pen-and-ink drawings at the beginning and end of each chapter. However, the cover design, although colourful, is very childlike and un-appealing. Better editing may have improved these flaws and the result could have been a stronger, and much more interesting story. Not recommended.

Nancy E. Black, Saskatoon P.L., Saskatoon, Sask.
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