November 2009, Good Manners Kids Stuff Press
180 pages, Paperback
Themes: an adventure, captured kingdom, laid back royals, quick thinking children, loss of valuable skills, learning to do things the hard way, practice makes perfect, never underestimate children, hapless army, arrogant enemy, a princess with attitude, deception, lots of humour, some peril, lots of smiling parts
Summary from Amazon (I don't get anything for mentioning them - theirs was the most comprehensive book blurb)
In the Kingdom of Zephram, everyone is magical - everyone except for the Royal Quadruplets: Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell. It's tough to be different, even if you are a prince or a princess. And Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell are treated differently by everyone in the kingdom! But when evil Prince Persius takes over the kingdom, it's the non-magical Tom, Lizzie, Ned and Nell who are the only ones left to try and save the day. Through their funny and challenging adventures they and those around them come to a better appreciation of the children's skills - and the big difference you can make by being different!
This is a heart raising story showing the resourcefulness ofthe royal children. It's their difference which saves the day. There are clear messages that working hard for a long time eventually achieves results. I loved seeing how each of the siblings used their skills to aid them on their quest. Tbe different obstacles they faced weren't always terrifying - I mean, getting an army to believe them took a little doing.
Those captured provided great entertainment at the very end in how they acted. I wish that the quadraplets's older sister could have had more of an appearance as her antics were genius. I like it that although there is peril, it doesn't feel too dark, perfect for the intended age group. There were a few places where the phrasing took me out of the stoey's magic, but overall I was delighted by this 9/10 adventure.
You can find out more on Leslie's website.
If it's humour and adventure you're after with a spunky protagonist, check out Jessica Day George's Dragonskin Slippers