Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tassie and the Black Baron by Katie Roy

February 2010, Egmont
288 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's, 9+ 

Smiles: 5
Nayuleska's recommended rating:♥♥♥♥♥

Before I write the review, I would like to explain that Katie Roy died in February 2009. I only found this out by seeing if she had a website. I guess this will be the only book about Tassie. I'm going to treasure it even more now. 

Summary from Egmont

Brutus, the dastardly Black Baron, has challenged his wimpy cousin to a duel. A duel to the death! Poor Prince Billy... all he really wants to do is marry Lady Violetzka, and maybe write some badly rhyming poems.
“Be proud my pounding heart, my knocking knees knock less. Stand firm my armour! (And my underpants and vest!)..."
Enter Tassie Ripley – she travels back in time with a cunning plan to save the Prince. It involves the hokey kokey, a talking horse, and a wax candle stuck to her head. With Tassie’s help, medieval history will read BRAVO FOR BILLY! and BASHINGS FOR BRUTUS!

Time travel. I don't know what it is, but there is something appealing about characters going back in time and having a small impact on history. Tassie's story sounded entertaining - it is hilarious. Katie's humour is spot on, and will have readers of all ages chortling over Tassie's family. 

I would feel sorry for Tassie. Her parents and the Twins (Sam and Lil) are not what you call normal. They are the kind of family who you'd look at and think 'who are they?' They end up in heaps of trouble, including the police and the castle staff. They even end up back in time with Tassie, not that they realise they've changed time eras. 

However, Tassie has fun adventures - although she doesn't always think so. Her life in this book involves flowers, a damsel who is stressed rather than in distress, a wannabe heir who everyone hates, a horse who is more than it appears....and so the list goes on. 

There was probably no single sentence which didn't have me smiling away as I read the book. It is just really funny. Tassie makes a friend with someone she wouldn't ordinarily go near, eventually saves the day and gets embarrassed by her family (nothing new there). She also saves a kingdom from a terrible ruler, which I think is a big plus side of her adventure. 

I think Tassie is going to be one of those characters I'll return to when I need a laugh. Just thinking of her family's antics has me smiling  away. A heroine with a candle on her head makes an amusing read. 

For another amusing read, check out Princess For Hire by Lindsey Leavitt


Charlotte said...

Thanks for the review--I've added it to my list. It is very sad, though, that the author has passed on....

GMR said...

Sad to hear that this is the only adventure with Tassie, but at least readers get a chance to see this one, which sounds magicial and whimsical indeed. Enjoyed the review...happy reading!