Friday 5 April 2013

Princess Betony and the Thunder Egg

Princess Betony and the Thunder Egg by Pamela Freeman, illustrated by Tasmin Ainslie (Walker Books)
HB Mini RRP $17.95
ISBN 9781921720246
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Lady Pineal has been teaching Princess Betony to curtsey in order to welcome the guests at the door at her parents’ tenth wedding anniversary. But the lessons are failing.

An eagle with a wren under its wing arrives with greetings and a precious gift from the Wild Magic for the royal anniversary. But the gift, a thunder egg, must be collected by Betony. She must travel to Teapot Mountain and get the thunder egg from a fierce dragon known as the Oldest Under the Mountain.

The palace is outraged at the suggestion, but the queen permits her to go, for Betony has passed the test in the Dark forest of Nevermore and is now protected by the Wild Magic. Betony’s challenge is a test of trust between the forest and the humans, for both long for peace to reign between them.

Betony sets out on her quest unafraid. She must walk through the forest infested by giant spider webs hanging from trees, overcome her fear of the rock creatures and find a way to retrieve the thunder egg from the Stone Cruncher who has stolen it from the dragon. Betony’s courage is tested and time is against her. Will she collect the egg and return in time for the anniversary celebrations? And are they prepared for what will hatch from the thunder egg?

This delightful story is presented in gift book size, ideal for young girls’ handbags or purses, and for travelling. With illustrations created in pencil and watercolour paint, its beautiful dust jacket has Princess Betony holding the huge thunder egg with the wren perched on top.

This is the second Princess Betony book. Princess Betony and the Rule of Wishing and Princess Betony and the Hobgoblin are on the way.

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