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Monday, 1 February 2010

Review: The Puzzle Ring [BLOG TOUR and SCHEDULE]

Today at The Bookette I have the privilege of being the first stop on the UK blog tour of Kate Forsyth's book The Puzzle Ring.

Book: The Puzzle Ring
Released: 1st June 2009 UK Scholastic
Genre: Fantasy
Target audience: 10+

Summary from Goodreads.com:
Hannah Rose Brown is twelve years old when she finds out that her family is cursed. Desperate to find the truth about her father's disappearance, she travels to her ancestral home in Scotland, and discover a chain of dark secrets that plunge her into different worlds, timeframes and dangers.

The Puzzle Ring is written in the vein of great traditional fantasies. In the information that came with the book, it was likened to the Chronicles of Narnia and I certainly think it has that daring magical adventure feel to it. Hannah is living in Australia with her mum Roz when a mysterious letter arrives addressed to the Countess of Wintersloe. Roz soon admits that back in Scotland Hannah would in fact have the title of Lady. Her father was a Lord but he disappeared the night after her birth. Hannah begs her mum to take her back to Scotland. She is excited by the possibility of a big adventure. And thus our story begins as we return with Hannah to the land of her father and journey into the mystery of The Puzzle Ring.

I wish I had read this book back when I was ten years old. I think I would have read it again and again. Hannah is a great heroine who is determined to break the family curse. The story is brimming over with tradtional tales of Celtic mythology, of fireside stories and magical dreams. I most certainly would love (even now) to suddenly discover I am actually a Scottish Lady and am the heir to a castle or grand house. I spent most of my childhood dreaming of magical adventures like this. Many characters in this story had a great appeal. Donovan for his rebellious streak and love of nature and wildlife. Angus for his sixteenth century ways. Linnet for her courage. Roz for reminding me of my sister and her love of all things science. There is a character for everyone in this book.

The scenes that take place in the time of Mary Queen of Scots were thoroughly entertaining and this is where Max became a comic genius for me. I kept laughing out loud at his gruesome facts. I think he must have swallowed a Horrible Histories book and this makes the book have a real appeal for boys too.

Overall, The Puzzle Ring is a mysterious and magical adventure. It called to the child within me and made me feel ten again. Forsyth expertly played on the fears of the target audience as the characters tell stories around the fire. This is a wonderful epic fantasy which will take you on a journey into the past and into the Otherworld. It reminded me of my childhood dreams and I will be buying a copy of this for the school library. I am convinced it will be a hit with the 10-12 age group.

Many thanks to Scholastic for sending me the book to review and to Kate for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
The Puzzle Ring can be purchased from The Book Depository or Amazon.
You can find out more about Kate Forsyth on her website.

The Puzzle Ring Tour Schedule
Here is the tour schedule, be sure to stop by all these fantastic blogs to hear their thoughts on the book:

1st Feb - The Bookette You are here!
2nd Feb - What Kate Did Next Kate chats about juggling writing and motherhood
3rd Feb  - Chicklish Find out five things you didn't know about Kate
4th Feb - Once Upon a Bookcase Find out why The Puzzle Ring is set in Scotland
5th Feb - Chicklish Author interview
6th Feb - I Was A Teenage Book Geek Review
7th Feb - I Was A Teenage Book Geek Reviews of time travel books (I need to read this!)
8th Feb - The Bookette Pop back here for my first ever Authors: Home and Away Feature
9th Feb - Tales of Whimsy Character Interview with Hannah
9th Feb Bookalicious Ramblings Review
10th Feb - Nayu's Reading Corner Review and a video of Kate reading
11th Feb - Ejly- Literate Mother Technologist Review / guest blog
12th Feb - So Many Books, So Little Time Reviews of Kate's top YA books of 2009
13th Feb - Ultimate Book Hound Writer's Bookshelf
14th Feb - Bookalicious Ramblings  Interview
15th Feb - The Book Bug Review / Interview
16th Feb - Alan Baxter - The Word Review
17th Feb - I Want To Read That Review / Interview
18th Feb - The Story Siren Review / Interview
19th Feb - Wondrous Reads Review
20th Feb - Chick Lit A day in the life of Kate Forsyth
21st Feb - Steph Bowe Review / Interview
22nd Feb -  Me and My Big Mouth Kate interviewed by kids
23rd Feb Tales of Whimsy Juju does her magic

For some of these wonderful bloggers, it is their first time partcipating in a blog tour so please show your support by leaving lots of great comments!


brizmus said...

I love epic fantasies, and I love books that make me feel like I am 10 all over again.
I don't know what Horrible Histories is, but just the title makes it seem like this Max is going to be hilarious to me, too!
Great review - I really look forward to reading this book! :-)

Becky said...

Horrible Histories are a series of books that are published in the UK. They are non-fiction books that explain history in a really fun way with lots of gruesome facts. There are lots but an example of one title "The Revolting Romans". Kids love them!

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Thanks for the review, I can't wait to read this myself! :)

Jo said...

Great review, Becky! I'm looking forward to reading this book this month! It sounds great! :)

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

It sounds great, a mix of many things that I love. I agree with you on the 'discovering you're a Scottish lady and are the heir of a castle'. That would be really really nice and exciting ! Many books make want to be 10 years old again. It's a great feeling. :)

Oh, by the way, you DID IT ! You have a top menu ! Yay !

cat said...

I can not even express how thrilled I am that there is a blog tour for this book. The Puzzle Ring knocked my socks off last summer and I agree with you when you said you wished you had read this when you were 10. As it is I gaze at the cover of this book almost weekly on my shelf and even pick it up once in while to pet it lovingly. Ha!

I LOVE this book, in case you didn't get that. ;) I revewed it over the summer and all I wanted to do was move to Scotland after I was done.

Nina said...

Becky you just got an award on my blog:

A book that is magical and makes you feel ten again, wow,need to get myself a copy! :)
Sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh wow! Wonderful review! I believe I just got assigned Feb. 23 :)

Becky said...

Thanks Juju, I shall add you to the schedule!

I Want To Read That said...

I'm looking forward to reading this for the tour - from your review I get the impression I'll love it:)

Sasha said...

What a great review! Too bad I didn't sign up for the tour but it definitely makes me want to read it :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great review! I like how you said you would've read it over and over if you had this book when you were 10; I know exactly how that feels, though my obsession was Redwall, lol. This definitely sounds like a solid book with a strong heroine, and I'll definitely be recommending it to my little sister and possibly reading it myself, thanks! :D

Lauren said...

Great review! This book looks really great.

choco (In Which a Girl Reads) said...


Okay. I am rushing out to buy this as soon as I can.

I mean, you had me at Narnia, which I adore. And then Celtic myth. And then the castle (I'm sort of freaky obsessed with moldering castles).

So yes, definitely putting on my TBR pile.

Awesome review :D

Lauren said...

Wonderful review, Becky - what an awesome start to the book tour! I'm reading this right now, and since I'm only about a third of the way through I haven't met Angus yet, but I love all the other characters. I think finding out you're Lady Something is one of those supposedly childhood daydreams that you never grow out of, isn't it?

prophecygirl said...

Well, this sounds ace - really looking forward to reading it now! Great start to the tour!

Shweta said...

Looks like a great book Becky. I just love this kind of plots and now I absolutely need to order it :)

LovesSam said...

This book sounds ace!! I am wishing I had signed up for the tour now!! silly me! Fab review :-)