July 19, 2008

Two by Funke

The Thief lord by Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch.
Reviewed by Julia

The Thief Lord is about two brothers who run away to Venice after their mother dies. There the brothers meet a gang of street kids who have a leader named Scipio, only a bit older than Prosper himself, who calls himself the Thief Lord, and who claims to have been in all the rich houses – but without permission. They live off of what he steals, selling it to Ernesto Barbarossa, a dishonest shopkeeper. What they don’t realize is that Scipio has a few secrets of his own – like where he disappears to every night. When the brother’s aunt comes to Venice looking for them, she hires Victor Getz, a PI, to find them. Victor ends up locked in the movie theater where they live – but not before finding out that the Thief Lord is no grand thief. Meanwhile, the gang takes on a job for an old man calling himself the Conte. When they find out that Scipio is the son of one of the richest men in Venice (who treats him like he’s stupider than pond scum) they feel betrayed. When they do the job for the Conte, they end up waking the owner, Ida, a photographer. She persuades them to let her come along to the Conte, and she tells them that the wooden wing that the Conte wants belongs to the magical merry-go-round of the Merciful Sisters, an orphanage, which had the ability to change your age. After they’ve given the Conte the wing they find out from Victor, who is now on their side after the aunt decides that she doesn’t want Prosper to ever see Bo again, that the money is fake. Meanwhile, the aunt gets Bo and is forcing him to dress up like a doll of her perfect boy and Prosper is practically suicidal. They get Bo back after he misbehaves so badly Esther never wants to see him again, but Prosper is gone with Scipio to the Conte’s island, where Scipio gets a ride on the merry-go-round for repayment. He gets to be about twenty, and he looks like a much nicer version of his father. Then Barbarossa sneaks in, and since it was his idea to give the kids fake money and he’s not exactly nice, they put him on the winged lion, which makes you younger. He gets off by breaking the lion once he’s about five years old, and they give him to aunt Esther. Bo, Prosper and Hornet (one of the kids) live with Ida, Scipio goes to work for Victor and the other kids find their own places.

This is a pretty well written story because it gives the realities of being on the streets without being too harsh. It combines the magic of Venice with a sense of reality extremely well, and ties up the loose ends pretty neatly without resorting to fairy-tale-wishes-come-true type writing. The book manages to describe the wonders of Venice without taking too much focus away from the plot, which uses fantasy and reality nicely. I’ve read this book about three times, and it’s exciting and funny every time. I would recommend this book to readers seven and up.

Dragon rider by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell.
Reviewed by Joie

What happens if humans are about to invade your home? If you have no chance of being peaceful to each other, nor any chance of living in a place that's not populated by humans again? If your only hope was a legend dragging hundreds of years back, to where the Rim of Heaven lay? Such a journey and adventure would only be possible in Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke.

The humans are coming. The news circulates from a rat who has heard the event. The dragons who live in the valley only have one chance to live in an area where humans would stop coming. And young Firedrake, his furry brownie Sorrel, and one human boy must find the Rim of Heaven to save the last dragons. Packed with adventure and cleverness, a tale of dragons that will never be forgotten.

This book is recommended to any one who enjoys fantasy. It grabs you mind and attention and doesn't let go until the final twist is made. Betrayal and the ever fear of humans keeps you on your toes. Classmates agree that this is a thrilling story with fantasy creatures, and one enemy feared by all. Cornelia Funke is already an international fantasy writer with Inkheart, Inkspell, and The Thief Lord all works enjoyed by millions of people. Dragon Rider is no different. The quest will begin as soon as you open the pages of this imaginative book!

Librarian's notes:
We have the following books by Cornelia Caroline Funke -

Dragon rider (also on cassette)
Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost
Ghosthunters and the muddy monster of doom!
Igraine the brave
Inkheart (also on cassette) Pictures from the movie.
Inkspell (also on CD)
Pirate girl
The princess knight
Princess Pigsty
El Senor de los Ladrones
The Thief lord (also on cassette) Pictures from the movie.
When Santa fell to Earth

Posted by library at July 19, 2008 05:07 PM
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