Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: The Robe of Skulls

The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French

The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French was a very fast and entertaining book. It took me 2 subway rides and breakfast to finish, and it was worth every second. 

Lady Lamorna, a sorceress, wants to order a new dress from the Ancient Crones, but after placing the order realizes she is completely broke. So, she hatches a plan to turn all of the princes and princesses in the near kingdoms and then make their parents pay large sums of money to turn them back. With the help of Foyce, a half wearworlf and evil stepsister, Lady Lamorna succeeds in turning the royal children into frogs. 

It is up to our heroes, Gracie Gillypot and Prince Marcus, to rescue the royal frogs and bring them safely to the Ancient Crones to have them restored to humanity. However, there if much more to their mission than saving frogs; they must also stop the spread of evil.

I liked the fairy tale aspects of the story, three crones, frog princes, and an evil stepsister. The Robe of Skulls was not an average, happily ever after fairy tale, though. The heroine, Gracie, ends up with no family or home, but chooses to live with the Ancient Crones as long as she can, with the promise of occasional adventures with Marcus. Also, the helping animals are not birds or fairies, but bats, an animal typically depicted as evil. And Gubble the troll, well, he just needed to be away from evil and trouble!

This was an entertaining read and perfect for young readers, maybe grades 5-6. There is a lot of action and adventure packed into this short tale, and will appeal to boys and girls alike. 

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