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THE GAME by Diana Wynne Jones


by Diana Wynne Jones

Age Range: 11 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-14-240718-6
Publisher: Firebird/Penguin

A fantasy novella kindles a sizzling premise that fails to catch fire. When a chance encounter with the mysterious musical magicians Flute and Fiddle introduces young Hayley to the “mythosphere,” where myths, fairy tales and legends spin their strands through the human imagination, her stringent grandmother exiles her to school in Scotland. A temporary diversion through Ireland acquaints Hayley with several aunts and innumerable cousins, and (most exhilarating) The Game: a scavenger hunt through the mythosphere. But as Hayley roams through the Zodiac and romps through the Hesperides, she discovers secrets about herself and her family—secrets that might free her to defy even her tyrannical Uncle Jolyon. As always, Jones’s prose sparkles, and Hayley is a likable character, diffident yet plucky; the mythosphere is a fascinating conceit that deserves open exploration. Unfortunately, the narrative is limited by a constricted paradigm, and the conclusion seems both predictable and forced. Readers lacking a solid grounding in Greek mythology are likely to be left puzzled, even with the concluding explanatory note. Plenty of glitter and flash, but hardly indispensable. (Fantasy. 11+)