FANTASMS by Len Bailey


Age Range: 10 - 13
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Danny Ray, the 11-year-old rodeo cowboy from Oklahoma, returns to the magical kingdom of Elidor for another “hoot-hollerin’” adventure. Beauteous Princess Amber has been kidnapped by the foul “fantasms,” and Danny Ray has only days to rescue her before their villainous king plunges Elidor into eternal darkness. Several old friends stand ready to assist, but they’ve changed in Danny Ray’s absence, and not necessarily for the better. Danny Ray is also different; after a disastrous bull-ride, he is no longer a “rodeo champion,” his self-confidence replaced by doubt and downheartedness. (He retains sufficient swagger, however, to take repeated swipes at the “stinky girls” who help him out on his quest.) Bailey’s imagination remains fertile and his language sumptuous, but this sequel lacks the coherent charm of Clabbernappers (2005). Strange names, bizarre creatures, narrow escapes and doggerel verse are crammed in higgledy-piggledy, until the slender plot threatens to collapse under its overstuffed fecundity. Buy for diehard fans of the first title; for anyone else, it’s a bit too much. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-765-30982-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2007