Jim Taylor, Sally Lockhart's oldest friend, is engaged as bodyguard to a princess. But Crown Princess Adelaide of Razkavia is not what you'd expect. She's the slum-girl Jim has been searching for ever since she vanished ten years ago. Now her life is in mortal danger, and together they must battle against unknown enemies in a country where no one ...
Jim Taylor, Sally Lockhart's oldest friend, is engaged as bodyguard to a princess. But Crown Princess Adelaide of Razkavia is not what you'd expect. She's the slum-girl Jim has been searching for ever since she vanished ten years ago. Now her life is in mortal danger, and together they must battle against unknown enemies in a country where no one can be trusted. This dramatic story of love, loyalty and adventure is the final novel in the quartet. Philip Pullman's ever-popular, action-packed Victorian melodramas are rejacketed for the bicentenary of Charles Dickens in 2012.
Publishers Weekly, 1994-03-21 Fans of Sally Lockhart, heroine of the Victorian-era thrillers that concluded with The Ruby in the Smoke , may at first be disappointed that, as Mrs. Goldberg, Sally has only a minor role here. However, Pullman more than makes it up to his audience by introducing a marvelous heroine, plucky 16-year-old Becky, and by bringing back--in starring roles--the resourceful Jim, Sally's former assistant, and the incomparable Adelaide, who disappeared as a child in Shadow in the North . This action-packed romp, in plot and mitteleuropaische setting, is a breathtaking blend of Saturday matinee cliffhanger and Viennese light opera. Pullman throws in everything but the kitchen sink: a secret marriage, spies, bombings, Machiavellian schemes, regicide, a vengeful Spanish actress, even Otto von Bismarck and that hoariest of chestnuts, a secretly imprisoned mad prince. In less able hands, this bulging confection would burst apart, but it all works due to impeccable pacing, sly social commentary and superb characterizations. Adelaide and Jim make an even more electrifying couple than did Sally and her ill-fated lover. Readers are sure to clamor for more. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Publishers Weekly, 1999-10-04 This comical adventure about a girl who longs to follow in her father's footsteps crackles with Pullman's (The Golden Compass; Clockwork) usual flair. Lila desperately wants to be a firework-maker like her widower father. Although he has raised her amid the dancing sparks, he wants her to have a husband rather than a vocation. With the help of her entrepreneurial friend Chulak, the personal servant to the king's talking white elephant, Lila tricks her father into revealing the secret to his profession, then bravely departs to retrieve the royal sulphur from Razvani the Fire-Fiend at the heart of a volcano. Pullman marries elements of fairy tale with slapstick humor as Lila outwits a vaudevillian band of pirates and scales jagged mountains on her quest. Gallagher's (Blue Willow, reviewed above) softly focused graphite drawings lend magical mystery as Lila fearfully contemplates the dancing fire imps at Mount Merapi and emphasize the absurdity as the elephant, his flanks emblazoned with advertisements, kneels before the Goddess of the Lake in order to save Lila from Razvani. If the tale, first published in Britain in 1995, isn't as polished as Pullman's other works, it's worth the trip just for the climactic fireworks scene in which Lila gets to show her stuff. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) FYI: As of September, Pullman's Sally Lockhart Trilogy is being reissued in paperback: The Ruby in the Smoke; The Shadow in the North; and The Tiger in the Well; as well as The Tin Princess, which features characters from the trilogy. (Knopf, $4.99 paper each ages 12-up ISBN 0-394-89589-4; -82599-3; ISBN 0-679-82671-8; -87615-4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1996-04-15 In a starred review, PW characterized this "action-packed romp" as "a breathtaking blend of Saturday matinee cliffhanger and Viennese light opera." It features characters from Pullman's popular Sally Lockhart trilogy, The Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North and The Tiger in the Well, all of which are being simultaneously reissued in paperback. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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