From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Henry Atherton's family is in some disarray when his mother has an affair with his father's female secretary. Henry's escape is helping elderly Mr. Fogarty with chores. Meanwhile, in a parallel world, Pyrgus Malvae, son of the Purple Emperor, is being chased and climbs the fence outside a glue factory where he discovers an evil secret and also comes close to losing his life. His father decides to send his son through a portal to the "Analogue World" for safety, which results in him mistakenly showing up under the lawn mower at Fogarty's where he meets Henry. Pyrgus arrives the size of a fairy, but overnight he grows and his wings disappear. Fogarty, a former bank robber and mechanical genius, sets out to build an artificial portal to send Pyrgus back home. Eventually, Henry and Fogarty cross over into the Purple Kingdom, where they help defeat the forces of evil. This book has a complex plot with plenty of drama and action, but at times the story seems to sink under its own weight. Early on, the transition from contemporary England to the Purple Kingdom is sudden, and the two settings do not intersect until well into the book, which may confuse some readers, and it's difficult to keep straight the many characters in the Purple Kingdom. In the end, Henry's experiences give him the wisdom to craft his own family solution.Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-8. When Henry Atherton arrives at the house of eccentric old Mr. Fogarty, he comes upon crown prince Pyrgus Malvae, who has escaped the Faerie realm, where the Faeries of the Night want to kill him. Mr. Fogarty and Henry decide to help the prince return home. It's a complex situation, involving an evil demon, two avaricious glue factory owners, and Lord Hairstreak, leader of the Faeries of the Night, each with a personal agenda that will lead to taking over the realm. A subplot (Henry realizes that his mother, not his father, is having an affair with his father's secretary) is totally unnecessary, and there are discrepancies in the story and some awkwardness to slow things down. Still, there's enough solid adventure in the Faerie realm to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Sally EstesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved