The Ogre of Oglefortby Eva Ibbotson
When a Hag, an orphan boy called Ivo, Ulf the troll and wizard Brian Brainsweller are sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, they briefly consider running away and hiding. Can they be any match for the gruesome, terrifying, ghastly, flesh-eating Ogre of Oglefort? But not all is as it first appears - the Ogre is depressed and the princess doesn't want to be/i>
When a Hag, an orphan boy called Ivo, Ulf the troll and wizard Brian Brainsweller are sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, they briefly consider running away and hiding. Can they be any match for the gruesome, terrifying, ghastly, flesh-eating Ogre of Oglefort? But not all is as it first appears - the Ogre is depressed and the princess doesn't want to be rescued. The Norns, who rule their fates, decide to take things in hand and send a gang of the vilest, most petrifying ghouls to get the job done properly . . .
With beautiful cover illustration by Alex T. Smith, creator of the Claude series, The Ogre of Oglefort is a wonderfully spooky young-fiction title from the award-winning author of Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson
A motley group hesitantly forms a princess-rescuing team and ends up in the last place they expected.
In a post–World War II London still recovering from the Blitz lives a Hag who's been dislodged from her Dribble (a water meadow where "the damp air is so soft"). At a meetingfor Unusual People, three partially-asleep norns assign the Hag, a troll, a self-doubting wizard and a open-hearted orphan to go to "an island as big as England and Scotland and Wales all put together" to rescue Princess Mirella from a flesh-eating ogre. They make the journey, befriend Mirella and take over the ogre's castle while the text calmly upends conventions and expectations: Mirella's no damsel-in-distress after all, and the ogre's more petulant and beleaguered than flesh-hungry. From Hag to ogre to misinformed norns to a previously-human gnu, Ibbotson's characters are non-glamorous and wistful but all the more human for it. Although soldiers try to kidnap Mirella, the real challenge for these mixed-age protagonists is sadness. The plot never flags or becomes sentimental; humor and gross-out tidbits (medicine made from used foot-washing water) pop up amid delicious turns of phrase (a dead salamander looks "like a very troubled banana which had died in its sleep"). Humility trumps grandness here; meanwhile, the castle becomes a home.
An offbeat, matter-of-fact journey from displacement to an idyllic homestead. (Illustrations not seen.)(Fantasy. 8-11)
Meet the Author
Eva Ibbotson, the author of many delightful light fantasies, knew that ghosts, wizards and witches are people like ourselves, "only madder and more interesting." She lived in northern England and passed away in 2010.
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I think I'll buy it. It sounds like a good book so, why not?