book reviews by Althea

The Forbidden Library – Django Wexler ****

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I read Wexler’s previous book (The Thousand Names), and liked it well enough that I picked this up even though I saw that it was aimed at a younger audience. I didn’t expect to like it *quite* as much, due to that fact.

I needn’t have worried. I loved this book. It may seem like an exaggeration, but with ‘The Forbidden Library’ Wexler slips under Diana Wynne Jones’ mantle – and is fully worthy of it. (Now, if only Miyazaki would option this story, as he did Wynne Jones’ ‘Howl’s Moving Castle,’ and animate the Swarm. The ultimate cuteness would be complete!)

Just on the face of it, I have to admit, it would be difficult to see how I could dislike this book. It’s got all the good stuff – I could not conceivably say no to a secret library full of eerie dangers, books that are portals to other worlds, and magical cats (with attitude). Plus it’s got an ingenious heroine, a roguishly handsome wizards’ apprentice, nasty fairies, and a dragon. Not enough? There’s more too…

And there is clearly going to be even more, because although there are plenty of adventures here, the main mystery remains unsolved, pending publication of a sequel… which I’ll be reading.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!


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