- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Series: StarMaker Books
- Paperback: 153 pages
- Publisher: St Marys Pr (September 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0884896692
- ISBN-13: 978-0884896692
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#9,926,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1606 in Books > Teens > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Values & Virtues
- #9041 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Values
- #16749 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Emotions & Feelings
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Malkin (StarMaker Books) Paperback – September 1, 2000
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From the Publisher
What are people saying about Malkin?
A true alchemist, Sophie Masson has transmuted cold iron into pure gold. Lloyd Alexander, Newbery Medal winner and author of The Black Cauldron and The High King
Watching a story unfold when you know the story but dont know how the storyteller is going to make it work this time is a particular delight. Phillip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass
From the Author
My family is Catholic; my mother is particularly interested in the moral and ethical aspects of religion, my father in its mystical and symbolic aspects. Ours is also a rather lively, argumentative, and imaginative family, and we were exposed to a lot of different religious experiences. Having lived in Africa and Indonesia, I have always been interested in religion and the spiritual, and from a very early age, I felt what I call the 'silent singing of the universe,' which are other words for grace. I feel very strongly the idea that we are all of one flesh, one blood, and that what we do to others, we do to ourselves.
I enjoy hearing from readers. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.
Top customer reviews
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But Tattercoats is the key figure in motivating Malkin and the adventure that follows - when the forgotten Princess is invited to Queen Elizabeth's godson's birthday celebration Malkin and the gooseherd Pug are determined that she should inherit her birthright, and perhaps catch the eye of the young Earl of Malmsey. Pug directs Malkin in the fetching of a glorious bundle buried in the garden - a dress of feathers, a cap of moss, and two shoes of pleated grass. The trio set off towards court, gathering on the way the ministrel Gallimaufry, the drummer Tabor and the apothecary Pennyroyal.
But other forces are also on the move - the sinister, peacock-like Italian magician Oscuro who is the latest employee of the Baron to find his lost daughter, and who gives Malkin the chills, the glamour and strange workings of the gooseherd Pug, and even deeper magics in the form of the 'Other Country', and the creatures that dwell within it.
Sophie Masson mingles the old English fairytale "Tattercoats" (retold at the end of the book in her own words), the Shakespearean play "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and a bit of real English history to create a lovely story that is both new and familiar, touching on age old themes and ideas. Her poetic prose is beautiful to read, capturing every aspect from descriptions of scenery to human emotions elegantly and realistically. In Malkin, she has a strong, captivating heroine, gradually discovering the secrets to her past, and interacting well with those around her.
Although Pug (does that name ring a bell? - you've probably already guessed who he is with the mention of a Midsummer Night's Dream) is a nice, enigmatic character, Tattercoats is a little *too* good to be true, and didn't really hold my interest. She sighs in her unhappiness, giggles innocently in her joy and plays the damsel in distress one too many times for her to have any sort of character depth. I much prefer the less-perfect Malkin who has her moments of doubt, jealousy and frustration. Likewise, I could not really see the point of the trio's travelling companions Gallimaufry, Tabor or Pennyroyal - whenever they were in the action the pace tended to slow considerably, and they served no particular function so far as I could see, but to tag along (and their lack of reaction to the magical glamour around them was rather mind-boggling). Gallimaufry is Tattercoat's love interest, but their relationship is barely touched on at all. Again, I was more eager to get back to Malkin, and Sophie Masson could have gotten on much better with her original trio of travellers.
However, this is a great little book, beautifully written and created, filled with both old and new ideas, that Massonn shares with the reader in her 'Afterword' at the back of the book. Teachers or parents might be interested in using this book to introduce the Shakespeare play, or perhaps touch on Elizabethan history, but readers who love re-shaped or mingled fairytales will find little to complain about here. If you like this, I definitly recommend "The Perilous Gard", which is in much the same vein as "Malkin".