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In the Land of Hullabaloo, the King keeps his strong-minded daughter Sophronia confined to his castle high on Mount Solitary. Her mother is dead and the King fears his enemies will try to harm his daughter too. But Sophie longs to experience the outside world. Inside the castle she has power over the King due to her magical ring. The King hires a wizard who can help him take it from her finger. But he hires the wrong wizard. The wizard turns her to ice and carries her away to his horrible son Mr Bobby and his greedy wife Barbaraba, who lock her in the basement and make duplicates of her to sell all over the Kingdom. But the evil twins McFrugal steal her for themselves and take her across the Deadly Mountains to the Empire of the Blue-Bellied Black Snakes. She is held captive along with many animals and birds. From her pedestal in the Throne Room, surrounded by sllithery snakes and a moat full of crocodiles, the Princess discovers she is braver and cleverer than she ever imagined. She can talk to the animals, and makes friends with the Green Tree Snakes.
By chance the young Wizard of Spume learns of her fate from the old cart-horse, who is really a flying pony, descendent of Pegasus. They rescue the Princess and the other captives but flying across the Deadly Mountains they are brought down by a high wind and stranded in the dense forest. A squadron of military owls arrive to assist them, and soon they are on their way back to the Castle. The Princess has learnt so much during this adventure and begs her father to allow her the freedom she longs for, so she can help look after the other wild creatures in the Kingdom.
An adventure story for children 8+ years, appealing especially to girls who want an exciting tale with a strong heroine, unusual animals and a technological twist.
Annette Hamilton is an anthropologist, artist and writer. She lives near Sydney, Australia and writes short stories and novels drawing on her experiences in remote Australia and Southeast Asia. This is her first children's story, written for her two granddaughters.