The book carries on the chronicle of the Minnipins so ably begun in The Gammage Cup. These two books represent one of the few successfully accomplished, fully realized, total fantasy environments. It is closer to the Tolkien style of imaginary worlds structured from an original, but evocative, vocabulary than it is to Lloyd Alexander's distillation of the essentials of legends; it is less complex than Tolkien's but it is more easily within a child's grasp. There is no doubt that the Minnipins are all Minnipin, but they share with humans many of their frailties. The famed five Old Heroes, whose great deeds were awesomely recorded in the History of the Minnipins, turn out to be clownish characters. The new five, who must rescue the land from total disaster, are only normal, everyday Minnipins. But starting from timid, confused trial-and-error, they manage to conquer their impossible tasks and do indeed become heroes. The author has made sense out of nonsense, and has created a complete mood without diminishing the momentum of the action. The two books are independent but add to each other's reading pleasure. While this has not been forecast as a three part epic, this type of creation does have a way of coming in threes, and more about the Minnipins will be welcome.