by Caroline Stevermer
Opening line--"The first time he met Billy Bly, Frederick thought he must be dreaming. Billy Bly looked like a little old man dressed all in green, and came just to Frederick's knee."
This is a hard book for me to review. Essentially the problem is that I'm too old for it (*tear*) and I've read the other Kate and Cecy books. Because of that I felt impatient with the Frederick person, who kept hogging up the space and keeping Kate and Thomas away. The writing, while definitely suitable for the target age group, was a little too simple to keep my attention, or impress me with its elegance.
I don't want to make it sound like this is a bad book. It's not at all! Frederick is an engaging hero and his relationship with Bess is nice, in that it felt realistic without seeming unduly romantic. Because how old are they? Too young to be canoodling. (I say, while I waggle my stick and mutter about kids these days.) Basically, it felt like a relationship that could develop somewhere in the future, but hadn't yet.
So, I'm sure that for kids in the right age group and with the right temperament, this would be a fun book. For me, it was a bit of a disappointment, because what I wanted was another Kate and Cecy book and I didn't get it.
Book source: public library
Book information: Dial Books, 2010
My other Caroline Stevermer reviews:Sorcery and Cecelia (with Patricia C. Wrede)A College of Magics and A Scholar of Magics