The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson is a lighthearted juvenile fantasy, one of the last books Ibbotson completed before her death.
hag, a troll, a bumbling wizard, and an orphan boy are an unlikely set
of adventurers, but they may be just what is needed in these
circumstances. You see, it appears that Princess Mirella has been
kidnapped by the fearsome ogre of Oglefort -- but, as we all know,
appearances can be deceiving! Strong-minded Mirella ran away from an
arranged marriage, the ogre is suffering from depression and has decided
to just lay down and die, and Oglefort proves surprisingly comfortable
and homelike to the hag, troll, wizard, and orphan, all of whom were
feeling useless and displaced back in London. There are a few problems,
though: the Norns (creatures something like the Fates) sent the
adventurers to defeat the ogre, and they will be displeased if the
mission fails. Also, Mirella's parents are preparing to send an army
after their daughter -- never mind her unwillingness to be rescued!
is a fun read without a great deal of depth. I find most of Ibbotson's
juvenile fantasies to be that way, in fact -- I much prefer her
historical romances. This is certainly not a bad book, and I'll
recommend it to the target audience of middle-grade fantasy fans.
(Reviewed from my personally purchased copy.)