Hardly has intrepid Princess Ivy saved her father’s kingdom of Ardendale from one deadly threat (detailed in Ivy’s Ever After, 2010) than along comes another.
When magic beans delivered to newlywed fairy godmother Drusilla shoot prized pixie goat Toadstool into the sky atop an unpleasantly toothy beanstalk/Venus flytrap hybrid, Ivy soars to the rescue aboard her beloved dragon buddy Elridge—only to be seized by Largessa, a giant who has been sleepless for a millennium, ever since that thief Jack stole her singing harp. In consequence, she's grown understandably irritable and threatens to pelt Ardendale with massive rocks unless the harp is returned in a week. Where is it now? Deep in the treasure vaults of distant Jackopia, a kingdom that after 1,000 years of golden eggs is literally paved, walled, floored, decorated and armored with the glittering stuff. And will Jackopia’s single-minded King Jack the 102nd give the golden harp up when Ivy flies in to ask? As if. Endowing her 14-year-old heroine with engaging stubbornness and plucky allies—notably boyfriend-in-the-bud Owen the stable boy—Lairamore dishes up a lighthearted quest tale (with just a hint of romance). Endearingly, all wrongs result from egotism or thoughtlessness rather than malice and are ultimately righted amid a cascade of breathtaking narrow squeaks and truly monumental quantities of bling.
Breezy and entertaining, with more than a few clever folkloric twists. (Fantasy. 10-12)