Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Robe of Skulls

French, Vivian

The Robe of Skulls

Genre: fantasy

Series: Tales from the Five Kingdoms

This is book 1 in the series.

The deliciously evil sorceress Lady Lamorna has just had a divine inspiration for a new gown: "Skulls," she says. "Definitely skulls. Rows and rows of dear little skulls, sewn all along the hem." She sighs with pleasure as she imagines "the clitter-clatter of bone on her cold stone floors," not to mention the embroidered motif of spiders, and perhaps even some poison ivy. She orders the dress from the very best seamstresses, only to discover too late that her treasure chest is utterly, entirely empty. One does not order a dress from the Ancient Crones and refuse to pay - not if one values one's life. How to get a lot of gold in a short time with very little effort?
She hatches a plot involving princes, frogs and blackmail. It seems simple, but she doesn't count on a "Trueheart" girl named Gracie Gillypot or her astonishingly lovely black-hearted step sister or a sly bat named Marlon or a silly, vengeful troll with a penchant for getting his head attached backwards or a stubborn, adventurous prince who is determined to get his frog-shaped brother turned human again. The Lady Larmorna's plan is turned upside down, but if Gracie's wicked stepsister has her way, it will wreak twice as much havoc. Gracie can only hope that her heart is as brave as it is true, or she and all the adjoining kingdoms are in for a heap of trouble.

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