THE BATTLE FOR DUNCRAGGLIN by Andrew H.  Vanderwal

THE BATTLE FOR DUNCRAGGLIN

Age Range: 9 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Uncle Larry ships orphan Alex Macpherson off to Scotland to stay with his aunt Fiona, but she turns up ill and parks him with the McRaes, whose farm is near the ruins of Duncragglin Castle. Of the three McRae children, Alex fits between Annie and Willie, although much older than Craig, whom he clearly has to win over. A clandestine outing to explore a possible underground entrance to the castle pulls them together, since all of the kids have had at least one parent disappear. A sudden travel through time shunts them into the 13th century to meet William Wallace and many of his supporters, as well as his dreaded enemies. The resultant violent death, gore and treachery quotient is high, but the bloodletting is never realistically portrayed, the threat of torture and hanging acting only as plot points that move events along with minimal emotional impact. The mix between present pain and past events provides the most intriguing aspect of the decisions made by all. Likely the first of a series, the focus is on adventure and fantasy over all other elements. Entertainingly inconsistent. (Fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: April 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-88776-886-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2009




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