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The Moon’s Revenge – Joan Aiken

26 Feb

51tnwBEXynL._SL500_On what has mine eye been caughtest this week? Well for one, this little treasure and at 20 pence, it is probably the best bargain I got since The Dream of Geronticus which I managed to get for free.

I had never heard of Joan Aiken until I checked her bibliography then it turned out I have heard of (but never read) her after all, sometimes I despair of my memory.

Alan Lee, most famous these days for his Tolkien illustrations amongst other things does the art so quality is assured on both words and pictures.

Set in an English seaside town circa 1500 AD, a young chap Seppy wants to learn to be the best fiddler in the world. After a mysterious encounter he learns that the moon will grant his wish, however there is a price to pay for his gift.

The story itself is classic kids fare, with magic, curses, bits of repetition and not being particularly complex.  Having said that though, it is inventive and fun and does draw you in from the first page.

Lee’s illustrations are fantastic, there is plenty of mist and darkness, evoking a haunting and mysterious atmosphere.  There is a theme of nature’s power that runs through the books as well.  There is a lot of depth for the drawings, I did find myself coming back to them at the end of the book and just enjoying the beauty of them again.

All in all, this is a book that you will spend a lot more time on than you may at first imagine, given that it’s a thin tome and return to time and again, if not to enjoy the story but to escape into the pictures and soak up that mysterious olde worlde vibe. This goes to reiterate the treasures that can still be found in second hand bookshops and why it’s better to shop there than eBay or these characterless high street shops, in my humble opinion.

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11 responses to “The Moon’s Revenge – Joan Aiken

  1. Liz at Libro

    26/02/2013 at 19:15

    Oh I love Joan Aiken – her Wolves of WIlloughby Chase books are children’s classics that do stand up to a re-read.

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    • StetotheJ

      26/02/2013 at 19:18

      I have The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, so was pretty shocked to not have noticed they shared an author. Looking forward to reading that one this year also.

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  2. Letizia

    26/02/2013 at 20:07

    What lovely drawings- and I love the premise of the story. You always find such original books!

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    • StetotheJ

      26/02/2013 at 20:09

      I never mean too, I just have an inquisitive nature, I think I unconsciously go for the books that make intrigue my wonderful readers. Also you can only sit on the floor of a shop with people having too walk around you until you feel like you have to pay for it.

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  3. renxkyoko

    26/02/2013 at 21:26

    The illustrations are indeed beautiful.

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  4. gargoylebruce

    26/02/2013 at 23:28

    20p? Bargain. ESPECIALLY with our exchange rate being so high these days 😉

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    • StetotheJ

      27/02/2013 at 18:33

      The world of numbers makes my head hurt.

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  5. Christina ~

    28/02/2013 at 05:04

    Adventure and intrigue….yes and yes! Another great to add to my reading list! Magic and curses were just the icing on the proverbial cake….thank you for sharing this! I think I’m going to need a way better to to keep track of my every growing list! 🙂

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    • StetotheJ

      01/03/2013 at 22:01

      I enjoy buying and reviewing books with certain people in mind, you were one of a few people who I thought of when I picked this one up. essentially you guys make me buy books, so I’m not to blame when I’m broke.

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  6. LuAnn

    01/03/2013 at 02:30

    Although I love to read real books versus books on Kindle, having a library of books while traveling in an RV is not practical so I will need to save this little gem for when we set awhile. The pictures look too good to pass up.

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    • StetotheJ

      01/03/2013 at 21:57

      They really are lovely and are still reminiscent of small English coastal villages too. I could almost smell the slightly bitter salt air.

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