The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice

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The Duke’s plan was simple: summon a dragon to kidnap the princess, then rescue her, marry her, and take over the kingdom. Of course, he didn’t expect the dragon to abduct the wrong Alice, or a slave boy to interfere, or everything to hinge on a goblin’s riddle. But then again, nobody ever expects things like that.

The Goblin’s Puzzle offers a wonderful twist on the classic story of “hero defeats dragon to rescue princess,” breathing fresh life into many overwrought cliches. And, in doing so, Chilton manages to make everyone involved more engaging. Unlike many heroic tales that end with sword-swinging or spellcasting, it’s smarts that win the day; a diabolical plot is foiled by quick wit and guile instead of luck or brute force.

The boy has moments of cleverness, Plain Alice is absolutely brilliant, Princess Alice is far more capable than the archetypal princess, and Mennofar the goblin ties words into knots with staggering ease. As such, the morals underpinning this story feel appropriate for the modern world, especially the recurring theme of the importance of what you say vs. what you mean.

A multilayered logic puzzle cloaked in adventure trappings, The Goblin’s Puzzle is an unexpected treat.


Reviewed By:

Author Andrew Chilton
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publish Date 2016-Jan-19
ISBN 9780553520705
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2015
Category Tweens
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