Cornelia Funke is an amazing author, in my opinion. I recently finished reading several of her books. I raided the library originally for the Inkworld trilogy that I love, but they were missing a book. As of now, thanks to me, they’re missing every other Cornelia Funke book that they had! Haha!
This book was absolutely adorable and I loved the imagery! Igraine is the daughter of Lamorak and Melisand (two great magicians) and has an older brother Albert who is training to be a magician, too. However, Igraine wants to be a knight and doesn’t care about magic. She has Sisyphus, a cat that can talk thanks to her brother’s magic powder. The book starts the day before Igraine’s birthday. She wakes up to see that her parents and brother are working magically on her birthday present. Her parents manage to turn themselves into pigs, but still give Igraine her birthday present (a magical suit of armor) which she then uses to go on a quest to get the ingredients needed to turn her parents back.
Naturally, as soon as her parents are turned useless, Osmund (the bad guy) moves into the area and tries to steal the Singing Books of Magic that her family have owned for generations. Igraine absolutely must go to fetch the ingredients now and leaves her brother guarding the castle. Along the way she meets the Sorrowful Knight and Garleff the giant.
Yes, I know that this is a Christmas book and that it’s not even Halloween, yet, but I wanted to read the book. I’m glad I did, too. It’s a unique take on Christmas. There isn’t just one Santa. There are, or rather, there were many Santas until the take-over by a very Scrooge-like (pre-ghost-visits) character called Gerold Geronimus Goblynch. Goblynch turns Christmas into a commercial business and takes away the thrill and magic of a real Christmas. Honestly, while reading this book, I imagined this as an accurate, albeit fantastical, telling of what has really happened to Christmas in our real world. I can only hope that the real world gets a happy ending, too.
If it wasn’t for the stack of books I had waiting for me to read, I would have reread this book as soon as I finished it! I love dragons and Funke’s dragons were especially good. Even Nettlebrand the bad dragon was awesome! This book had dwarves, fairies, brownies, myths, legends, talking rats, and all kinds of wonderful things. Firedrake is on a mission to find a place for his dragons that is safe from humans. An especially old dragon told him to find the Rim of Heaven and beware of the Golden One. Nettlebrand is the Golden One and is a human-made dragon created to hunt real dragons. After all the real dragons went into hiding, Nettlebrand was left without a purpose. This tale is epic in it’s own way. I’ll be the first to say that it’s not in a league with “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter,” but I would happily call it a gateway book for young children. You have to start somewhere, right? If you start here, I don’t think you’ll regret it.