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THE ROBE OF SKULLS by Vivian French

THE ROBE OF SKULLS

By Vivian French (Author) , Ross Collins (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: July 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3531-2
Publisher: Candlewick

Conceiving a burning desire for a new gown—black velvet, decorated with poison ivy, spider webs and skulls—wicked Lady Lamorna decides to pay for it by turning all the local princes into frogs and extracting ransoms from their royal parents. She gets help on the way from the considerably more clever Foyce Undershaft, a young lady of stunning beauty and “a heart as hard as a frying pan,” who is also the evil stepsister of kindly Gracie Gillypot. Enter Marlon, a bat who addresses young folk as “kiddo” and is forever flitting off with a “Ciao!” to deliver messages or orchestrate some dodgy deal. Thanks to his efforts Gracie hooks up with Marcus, a scruffy prince missed in the general amphibious transformation, to rescue the other princes and to trick Foyce into entering a magical sort of rehabilitation program. Lady Lamorna even gets her gown, in the end. Larded with stock comical characters and illustrated with Collins’s gangly, Beardsley-esque line drawings, the story will slip down like the bonbon it is. (Fantasy. 10-12)