Author: Lesley Renton
To Price Evans, who has just moved into the quaint old house that was his grandmother’s childhood home, Sinbad looks much like any ordinary, long-haired ginger cat—the pampered and sole companion of Mr. Murphy, the cantankerous old man living next door. Little does anyone know that Sinbad lives in our world only when he isn’t busy (stirring up rebellion) in his real home: the magical Land of Tolk. There are signs though, that everything is not as it seems—like the two incredibly life-like wooden dwarfs that appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, in the small space between the Evans’ property and Mr. Murphy’s garage. When Price stumbles upon the gateway between these two very different worlds, he learns the truth about Sinbad and his nefarious plot to bring the conveniences of human technology (and pampering) to the peaceful and immortal inhabitants of Tolk, heedless of the impact of such potentially corrupting influences.
Price finds himself in the midst of a civil uprising, with the fate of Tolk hanging in the balance. What role will he play in exposing Sinbad as a liar and a fraud? Can the peace-loving Tolks expel the rebel forces before they destroy their way of life and their very world?
Even though he is an outsider, it is clear to Price that whatever happens next will determine the fate of the Land of Tolk and all of its inhabitants.
Reviewer: Mary Hosmar
When eleven year old Price Evans moves from the big city to a small town, he is delighted to discover a space between his parents’ and his neighbour’s houses which would make a perfect place to make a hide-away. His grumpy neighbour, however, makes it clear that such an idea is totally impossible and promises Price dire consequences should he wander onto his property. His sinister-looking cat seems to agree with that.
Price, of course, cannot stay away and as he begins to investigate, strange things happen. A previously locked gate is mysteriously left open; a note buried in the leaves invites Price to visit; and a well-kept German shepherd seems to be inviting Price to follow him.
What Price eventually discovers and experiences makes a delightful read for children of all ages. The adventures in a magical kingdom will both challenge and entertain the reader.
Renton builds her characters and her world carefully. It’s not difficult to believe animals can talk and elves exist. The make-believe world of Tolk is realistic and inviting. The writing moves the story along, although at times, I wished it would move more quickly.
I received this book in return for an honest, unbiased review.