Forsyth, Kate, The Puzzle Ring, Scholastic, 2009
I have just re-read Kate Forsyth‘s book The Puzzle Ring for the second time. The one-liner on the front cover sums up the story well: A past full of secrets and a future full of magic. A strange letter from a relative in Scotland awakens thirteen-year-old Hannah Rose Brown to the fact that she knows nothing of her long-lost father’s family. Therein lie the secrets and the promise of magic. Despite the fact that I already knew the plot and I was reading the book more to study the language, I was quickly embarked in the delights of an enchanting fairy story only to find myself at the last page as if by magic. Unlike some of the clumsier attempts I have read recently, no names mentioned, Kate Forsyth really knows how to tell a story. Hers is a solider, more classical way of writing but it has none of the painful weaknesses of some would-be authors’ attempts that try to wrap their shortcomings in a veil of supposed literary audaciousness. If you enjoy tales of resourceful children that mix modern life and the magic of the fairy world then I can highly recommend this book to you. And if you prefer slightly more (young) adult tales then I recommend Kate Forsyth’s saga of The Witches of Eileanan.