Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A book review: Igraine the brave

Title: Igraine the Brave
Author: Cornelia Funke
Published: Chicken House (2007)

Synopsis: An adventure is what Igraine wishes for most in the world – and on her twelfth birthday she finds one! 

Everyone at Castle Pimpernel is looking forward to Igraine’s birthday. But when her magical present goes wrong and her parents turn themselves into pigs, it’s up to Igraine to put things right – even if that means facing giants, three-headed dragons and a particularly spiky Knight.
Chicken House website

Star parts: Well I could just be completely biased and say it's by Cornelia Funke so of course it's good. But no. Igraine may be a spunky little 11/12 year old, but she has faults. She does want to be a knight, but she forgets the spells she's supposed to learn and she's terrified of spiders. She's also very kind and thoughtful. In fact, considering that ALL she wants to be is a knight, she's pretty well-rounded. And she gets scared and worries about stuff. I like the fact that if anything, Igraine isn't hung-ho. She's passionate about the thing she wants to be and then she's a kid. 

I like stories with action, but while there is action, it's not 'action-packed'. There's a good ole story there as well: kid needs to save parents and protect her home and the books of ... (oh no I shouldn't give away the plot). I like Funke's take on quite traditional fairy tale elements, the knight is a girl, there's an ogre, but (well, you'll find out about him if you read the book). There's another Knight, there's the magic. Her parents are really lovely, even if they do get turned into pigs and it's all kind of amusing and nice. 

Black clouds: I've moaned about this before, but it seems that if you're writing books for younger reader's nowadays you have to put little bios of the characters in the front of the books. What, you think 8 year olds can't remember who's who? And you give away parts of the plot! I'm sorry, but I find them a waste of paper, they give away key points of the plot and as when I read it with kids I tell them NOT TO READ IT. WE READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE CHARACTERS! 

There were a few bits where Funke got carried away with description or stuff about Knight's, but not enough for me to sigh and roll my eyes or anything.

  Do I recommend it: It's Funke, so of course I would say yes, but I've also read enough Funke now to have a pecking order. So bearing that in mind that, it's after Inkspell, Inkheart, Reckless (to be reviewed), and Dragon Rider. And also reminds me that I must read Inkdeath and ...


Dad Who Writes said...

I'm trying to get dudelet to read Inkheart but he refuses to touch anything unless it's by Michelle Paver at the moment (as you know!).

I'll probably have to steal it back off his shelf and read it myself. I wonder how he'd deal with this? For an 8yo boy, he's quite in touch with his feminine side.

Michele Helene said...

Oh Inkheart is brilliant, but I've seen the Paver phenomena in action. It was a bit like a comfort blanket, it went EVERYWHERE with the child. Not having read them though, I've been led to believe there are wolves in there and swords and stuff like that.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I like the sound of this book. Igraine sounds like a great character.

Michele Helene said...

Hi Rachna, yeah, she's steady and determined. I don't think Funke does kick ass.

Cat said...

I love Funke (especially since she's German like me). Just checking in as a fellow Campaigner.

Daanish said...

I like the introduction,Kindle makes like so easy to read and review.

Thanks for sharing.

Michele Helene said...

Hi Cat, a fellow Funky follower! Are you doing the campaign again? I dropped off the campaign bandwagon last time and after our great start found it hard to keeo the momentum going,so this year I am challenging myself to do no challenges. Have fun and do drop by again.
And Hi Daanish, I have resisted getting a Kindle. The practical part of me looks at my groaning bookshelves and thinks it would be a good idea, but the booky side won't let me get it yet.


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