Monday, January 30, 2012

A book review: The Ogre of Oglefort

Title: The Ogre of Oglefort
Author: Eva Ibbotson
Published: Macmillan Children's Books; (2010)
Synopsis: When a Hag, an orphan boy and a troll called Ulf get sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, they expect it to be a fairly standard magical mission. But the ogre is depressed, the princess doesn’t want to be rescued – and the ogre’s dead wife is turning in her grave. The Norns who rule their fates decide to take things in hand – will the Ogre meet a bloody end, or will he get a happy ending?


Star parts: A bit of background here. Last year when I first signed up for the British Book Challenge this was the book I intended to start. A long while ago I read The Secret of Platform 13 1/2 and it left me with this lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside. This was Ibbotson's last book before she died. This one isn't so warm and fuzzy, if anything all the characters are a little dark: the hag, the troll and the Princess! Yes, they are all a little on the dark side. But we do feel for them. We feel for them far more than the Ogre and people who are bothering the Ogre at his castle. They're actually kind of annoying. And the ogre's sisters, oooh they're awful. 
In the end everything works out, more or less, and you're left with a certain sense of satisfaction. 

Black clouds: But there were times where I wondered where the story was going. And whether that bit was entirely necessary. And the Ogre really is a right royal pain and I'm not sure he gets enough of a comeuppance. The ending seemed a bit over long. 

  Do I recommend it: Basically I did enjoy it. It was funny and clever in parts, but I just have that memory of that 'other' book and maybe I think that that one was better. So if you haven't read that other book, read this one first. That's my advice. 

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