Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson

The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson is a lighthearted juvenile fantasy, one of the last books Ibbotson completed before her death.

A 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!

This 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.)

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