THE TIN PRINCESS by Philip Pullman


Age Range: 11 & up
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 Pullman sets some of the younger characters from The Ruby and the Smoke (1987) and the other Sally Lockhart books center stage for another taut adventure. Adelaide, an intelligent Cockney who's now a lovely (but illiterate) young woman, has escaped a London brothel to marry Prince Rudolf of Razkavia, a small country tucked between Austria and Bismarck's Germany. In 1882, the couple returns to Razkavia, taking Becky, 16, a Razkavian political refugee who's been teaching Adelaide German and serves as interpreter, and Jim, now a detective, still smitten with Adelaide, his childhood sweetheart. After some unexpected deaths Rudolph becomes king, only to be assassinated at his coronation, whereupon Adelaide seizes her new subjects' fealty by heroically carrying a historic flag up a mountain to its traditional site. But traitors--not just the assassin--are at large. In the process of the trio's tracking them down, Pullman offers a grand series of maneuvers, calling on all their considerable wits and courage as well as the various loyalties of numerous other picturesque characters (helpfully listed at the outset). Still, though these exploits will appeal greatly to fans of Lloyd Alexander's Vesper Holly (The Illyrian Adventure, etc.), in the end--after the puppets of realpolitik are unmasked and the power of the German chancellor and his banker and munitions- manufacturer cohorts can no longer be ignored--this is in the darker spirit of his Westmark. A mesmerizing yarn that delivers on its promises. (Fiction. 11+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-679-84757-X
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994


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