This is the third book in the series of Phyllis Wong, magician and amateur sleuth. It contains all the best elements of a book of its genre, and presents them in a wonderful, imaginative style for older readers. Having a female character to initiate the action will appeal to many girls.
Phyllis is a young girl whose mother is no longer with the family, and her father is away. She is cared for by a kind Scottish housekeeper, who maintains their large home. This home has a basement where great -grandfather stores all of his magical devices and props. He was a very famous magician, and it is in this basement that the adventure actually begins.
The author challenges readers. He presents new concepts, ideas and language which are explained and easily incorporated into his story. We learn about “Transiting” and “Pockets”. Transiting is the ability to time travel, and Pockets are the only places where this can take place. Fortunately there is a Pocket in the basement, as they can only be found on stairs.
As Wallace Wong says, “Troubles can be like a bent coin dropped in doughnut batter.” (I think Phyllis is used to his wise sayings….)W.W. and Phyllis then proceed to have many troubles as they then transit to Stone Henge, where a man called Sturdy lurks.
Sturdy wants to dispose of Wallace and actually dislodges a stone to squash him. It misses. The plot evolves and mythology and magic are intermingled. The journey the two take becomes more sinister and their intervention is needed to urgently save the world.
As with all of the best fantasy books, this is full of action, and the magical world is plausible. There is a sense that good will triumph over evil and conflicts will be overcome. Phyllis, Wallace Wong, and her dog Daisy, will continue to transit and defuse potentially earth changing situations.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin Childrens|