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The Tin Princess (BBC Cover to Cover) Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Box set

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Sally Lockhart, heroine of the Victorian-era thrillers that concluded with The Ruby in the Smoke , may at first be disappointed that, as Mrs. Goldberg, Sally has only a minor role here. However, Pullman more than makes it up to his audience by introducing a marvelous heroine, plucky 16-year-old Becky, and by bringing back--in starring roles--the resourceful Jim, Sally's former assistant, and the incomparable Adelaide, who disappeared as a child in Shadow in the North . This action-packed romp, in plot and mitteleuropaische setting, is a breathtaking blend of Saturday matinee cliffhanger and Viennese light opera. Pullman throws in everything but the kitchen sink: a secret marriage, spies, bombings, Machiavellian schemes, regicide, a vengeful Spanish actress, even Otto von Bismarck and that hoariest of chestnuts, a secretly imprisoned mad prince. In less able hands, this bulging confection would burst apart, but it all works due to impeccable pacing, sly social commentary and superb characterizations. Adelaide and Jim make an even more electrifying couple than did Sally and her ill-fated lover. Readers are sure to clamor for more. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-A complex tale of romance, intrigue, and adventure. Adelaide, Mrs. Holland's maid, vanished towards the end of The Ruby in the Smoke (Knopf, 1987). Now, 10 years later, in 1882, detective Jim Taylor tracks her down. Beautiful, tough, and illiterate, 22-year-old Adelaide has secretly married Prince Rudolf of Razkavia. When his brother is shot, the couple travels to that tiny European country. Jim accompanies them, as does Becky Winter, 16, Adelaide's tutor and interpreter. In rapid succession the old king dies, Rudolf is crowned and assassinated, and Adelaide becomes queen. Surprisingly, she's remarkably good at the job. She's not without enemies, though, and Becky and Jim have their hands full as they try to stay one step ahead of the schemers. Pullman writes fluently and descriptively, and his wealth of detail brings the period alive. The unexpected twists and turns will grip readers and make it difficult to set the novel down. At times, the large cast and numerous subplots needlessly complicate matters, and the introductory list of names and family tree are more a distraction than a help. Pullman's habit of shifting perspective (from Becky to Jim to assorted others) can also be annoying. Still, this book stands above most YA novels of its type due to its richness, its fascinating characters, and its story that, while sometimes far-fetched, is firmly rooted in reality.
Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: BBC Cover to Cover
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Cover to Cover Cassettes Ltd (April 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844400239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844400232
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,478,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Tin Princess" is the forth book in the Sally Lockhart series - though it doesn't actually star Sally herself. Perhaps a better description of this book would be to call it a spin-off, as it is has several characters from the previous Sally books as its protagonists, and solves a mystery that has been brewing since book one. In the first book "The Ruby in the Smoke," a young street waif named Adelaide Bevan disappeared into the streets of London, and only now has she been found. Readers who may be unwilling to continue with this series due to the absence of Sally are instead rather forced to - it's the only way to find out what happened to that young girl.

Jim Taylor, the amateur detective (among other things) has finally managed to track her down, following the trail of young Rebecca Winter who has been employed in the service of a nobleman to teach a young woman in his household how to read and write. The two collide almost immediately, and soon it becomes apparent that the young woman in question is none other than Adelaide herself. But her situation has greatly changed - she is married to Prince Rudolf of Razkavia, making her a princess of that small country squished between Austria and Germany. Rebecca is appalled at the unlikelihood of the match, especially since she herself is a native of Razkavia.

And now things are about to heat up. With the assassination of Rudolf's older brother, Adelaide and her husband now find themselves heir to the thrones of Razkavia - but whoever was behind the conspiracy to topple the royal family is not going to stop till they control the country. Now with Becky as her translator and Jim as her bodyguard, Adelaide is travelling with her husband to the country she now rules - a country watched over by the Red Eagle flag.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the end of "Tiger in the Well," one could tell that Phillip Pullman was becoming less interested in Sally Lockhart and more interested in her crew. With "The Tin Princess," Mrs. Goldberg disappears almost altogether, and Jim takes the stage along with the long lost Adelaide and newcomer Becky.
Set in a minor European kingdom, the action of this story takes place both in the palace and the bar. Jim travels in the seedy underbelly, while Queen Adelaide takes on the court. Intrigue, plots, romance and history are all present in droves, as one has come to expect from Pullmans Lockhart books.
A few of the plot points seem more convenient than natural. Jim's sudden overwhelming love for Adelaide does not suit the Jim that I am familiar with. It does, however, work for the story once it has been accepted. It is nice to reunite with Adelaide, although I always enjoyed her disappearance at the end of "Ruby in the Smoke." I saw it as Mr. Pullman's way of saying that not everything turns out well, and not all mysteries are solved. But her she is.
"The Tin Princess" is not the strongest book to come out of Phillip Pullman, but the nostalgia for the characters and his enjoyable writing is enough to make it a good book, and one worth reading.
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Format: School & Library Binding
Having read all three of the original Sally Lockhart novels, I was thrilled to find a sequel of sorts on the shelves of my local bookshop. Pullman takes a brave shot at writing a traditional swashbuckling adventure story, and succeeds wonderfully on many (though not all) levels.
The basic plot is thus: Adelaide Bevan, the penniless waif of The Ruby In The Smoke, has resurfaced after having gone missing for ten years. And she appears with a bang: she's married to a European prince of a small country called Razkavia. The problem? Adelaide is illiterate and has no idea how to be a princess, someone is assassinating the royal family of Razkavia one by one, and the great European powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary are itching to take over the tiny country at a moment's notice. It's left to Jim Taylor (the roguish friend of Sally Lockhart from the previous novels) and new character Becky Winter to try and keep everyone safe whilst trying to prop up the future of Razkavia and its people.
Implausible maybe, but Pullman infuses a nice feeling of reality into the proceedings with plenty of historical reference and accuracy. The story isn't perfect: Pullman's love of detail and an excess of rich and varied characters clutter it up, and the plot has more twists than a plate of spaghetti, but the overall story is so delightful, adventurous and well-written that this can be easily overlooked.
Pullman's real strength lies in his brilliant characterisation for his three or four main characters and the interaction between them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I didn't like this book as much as I did all the Sally Lockhart books. The plot was pretty interesting. I loved Jim and I wished there were more of his points of view. I wish there was also more Sally in the book. I also would have loved to see a scene with both Sally and Dan together to see how they're getting along. One of the things I loved best about the Sally series was the wonderful relationship between her and Jim. The scene that moved me the most was when Sally showed up near the end of the book to see Jim. I really liked Becky as well. She was such a spirited and interesting character. If only her character was expanded a little more. The one character I could not like was Adelaide. I understand that she had a tough childhood and everything, but I just couldn't get used to the fact that she was queen and all that. I didn't like her attitude or her personality. I found it unbelievable that Jim would be in love with her forever, because the last time he was in real contact with her was when she was about 9 and he was about 13 or 14. Who falls in love that young and only knowing each other for a few days? But I liked the whole Razkavia thing and I loved the parts with Sally in it. So if you want to continue on with some beloved characters it's worth reading.
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