This novel is interesting on a number of levels. It is first and foremost an historical fantasy – the setting is pseudo-medieval – but the unusual construction of this work is its point of difference. The story is told in a series of vignettes – diary entries, letters, encyclopedia entries and straight story-telling – and this is one of the most successful examples of this piecemeal style that I have seen. Despite the changes of voice and perspective in each chapter, the story unfolds in a dramatic and coherent way, and rockets along with little hints and clues provided by each of the ‘character’ chapters. Recommended for good younger readers and above.