Willoughby the Narrator is the seventh in The Princelings of the East series. Willoughby first appeared in the Talent Seekers, as a mysterious ninja and mentor to Humphrey.
As might be expected from a Narrator, Willoughby tells his story with style and panache, starting with his somewhat surprising arrival in the Realms. The first part of the book takes us from the realisation that he was stuck here, through his adventures as he finds a way of making a living until he can return to where he belongs. That all ends when he falls from a high tower at Castle Deeping during the battles between Deeping and White Horse, as detailed in the Talent Seekers, and not elaborated on in his tale. Willoughby concentrates on the new story – what happened next, what he got up to as an itinerant narrator, and how he eventually compromised his career with undercover work for the rich and powerful, and had to start again. He treats us to a number of his special tales in the process, all the while reporting the changes in the social structure of the Realms as the Troubles deepen. Where will it all end?
Willoughby demanded that his story should be told. I more or less completed part one, wondering whether to retell his role in the Talent Seekers, or to give a modest summary, which is what my Willoughby eventually did. ‘Eventually,’ because nearly two years went by before I took up his story again. Once I realised where the story ended, for now, I could get going again. Willoughby’s story becomes entwined with that of Fred and George, the original Princelings, so there will be more to hear from him before the end of the saga.
Lovers of the series will enjoy this latest adventure, but newcomers may find it easier to start with book 1 or book 5. It’s a mystery adventure in a world not quite like ours, suitable for age 10 and upwards.
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Jemima Pett has been living in a world of her own for many years. Writing stories since she was eight, drawing maps of fantasy islands with train systems and timetables at ten. Unfortunately no-one wanted a fantasy island designer, so she tried a few careers, getting great experiences in business, environmental research and social work. She finally got back to building her own worlds, and wrote about them. Her business background enabled her to become an independent author, responsible for her own publications.
Her first series, the Princelings of the East, mystery adventures for advanced readers set in a world of tunnels and castles entirely populated by guinea pigs, is now complete. The tenth and final book, Princelings Revolution, came out in October 2020. Jemima does chapter illustrations for these. She has also edited two volumes of Christmas stories for young readers, the BookElves Anthologies, and her father's memoirs White Water Landings, about the Imperial Airways flying boat service in Africa. She has compiled four collections of flash fiction tales, publishing in the first half of 2021. She is now writing the third in her science fiction series set in the Viridian System, in which the aliens include sentient trees.
Jemima lived in a village in Norfolk with her guinea pigs, the first of whom, Fred, George, Victor and Hugo, provided the inspiration for her first stories, The Princelings of the East. She is now living in Hampshire, writing science fiction for grown-ups, hatching plans for a new series, and writing more short stories for anthologies.