31 May, 2009

The Afterdark Princess, or: The BSC wishes they were this awesome

OK, so I realise I was kind of ranty last post! Not that I don't stand by my rants, but I realise it probably isn't the easiest thing in the world to actually read. No worries, though, to divert my attention from the research proposal I'm supposed to be working on, here is a short and sweet book rec.

Incidentally, I don't like this cover nearly as much as the one I had as a kid. A dude on a staircase isn't nearly as cool as a picture of a bunch of people in a forest being mysterious and badass.

Title: The Afterdark Princess (1990)

Author: Annie Dalton

You've read this before, haven't you? Only probably a hundred times! My primary (elementary) school had a copy which I read over and over again. Needless to say I was pretty stoked when I recently rediscovered it at a used book stall.

What's it all about, anyway?
Joe Quail isn't a very happy kid. His mum worries about him too much, he has nightmares every night, he's useless at everything and he's getting bullied at school. He hates everything and everyone - especially his neighbours, Kit and Maisy. When his mother leaves him with Kit and Maisy under the charge of the world's most perfect baby-sitter, Alice Fazackerly, he knows he's going to hate her too.

But Alice isn't just a baby-sitter. She's also the last princess of the Kingdom of Afterdark, and her kingdom is currently under attack from Cosmo, the Emperor of Nightfall. Joe doesn't want anything to do with sorcery and danger, but when Alice and Kit are kidnapped he reluctantly realises that he's the only one who can do anything about it.

Joe battles trolls and dragons, defeats a monster in a dungeon, and finally climbs up the long, high Shining Stair to face Cosmo, and he comes to realise that in Afterdark nothing is as it seems - not Alice, not Joe, and not even the Emperor of Nightfall...

So what's so great about it then, huh?

It's a kids' fantasy story about a magical world where you can become the person you've always wanted to be. And it also throws in a few important lessons, about how it's important to get to know people before you decide whether you like them or not. What's not to like?

More about this series: Actually, I didn't even know it was a series until I bought this newer edition - the one held at my primary school didn't mention the fact, and I never thought to look before! I haven't read any of the sequels yet, but they are The Dream Snatcher (1998), The Midnight Museum (2001) and The Rules of Magic (2004). Needless to say I'm going to take them out from my local library as soon as my holidays start!


Sadako said...

Ha. This sounds way better than the BSC!

HelenB said...

Can you imagine Kristy's reaction if anyone had taken their charges out of the house and into an imaginary world? How irresponsible!

Angie said...

I like the cover of that book. I'm completely shallow when it comes to picking out books and often choose them based on the cover alone.

Sadako said...

And then if the charges' parents were happy she'd be pissed that she didn't think of it first and then sulk and think she was a bad sitter and consider disbanding the club.

HelenB said...

Angie - no, it's an OK cover, I just have such fond memories of the cover on the copy I read as a kid! It was what attracted me to reading it in the first place. Well, that and the word 'Princess'.

Sadako - so true! Now that's a Super Special I'd like to see.