07 May 2010
Black Hearts In Battersea
Wicked assassins are planning to overthrow King James and the Duke and Duchess of Battersea. A diverse and twisted plot ensues, featuring all the things children are sure to love: more wild wolves, excessive kidnappings, a shipwreck and a range of poisoned pies all make an appearance.
Bonnie and Sylvia have a minor role in the story, but most of it takes place in the company of Simon and Dido Twite, another of those waif-like children Joan Aiken seems to enjoy depicting so much.
Joan Aiken was born in Sussex, England, and her clear enjoyment of the English culture is plain: her subtle and gentle poking of fun at the English establishment works well as she continues to explore her alternate history where the Stuarts have retained the throne and a Channel Tunnel already exists. Those who have read The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase will undoubtedly wish to continue the experience; those who have not would do well to seek out Willoughby Chase, though each book will, of course, stand alone.