Monday, 15 October 2012

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Pages - 330
Published by Orion Children's Books in October 2012
I was eleven when my mother sent me to boarding school in Salisbury. Yes, granted, she did have tears in her eyes as she brought me to the station. But she still puts me on that train.
Goodreads Summary
Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure...
Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. So when Jon summons the ghost of the late knight Longspee for his protection, there's just one question: Can Longspee truly be trusted?
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Cornelia Funke is one of my favourite international children's authors...EVER! I have yet to read a book by this author that I haven't loved and Ghost Knight will sat happily on my book shelf next to the author's other books which I have loved.
This book is an excellent ghost story written for the 9 to 12 age bracket, set in the stunning surroundings of Salisbury; inspired after a visit to Salisbury Cathedral on a book tour. Considering that Cornelia does not live in England,  her writing portrays the characters and the setting in such a way that you would think  she had lived here for years. I am amazed by her talent as she seems to be the first international author to truly be able to recreate life in England within her stories. 
The book is extremely well written, completely engaging and I was totally absorbed from beginning to end. It reminded me of the classic ghost stories I read as a child, such as The Children of Green Knowe and Moondial. 
The main character Jon, is sent to boarding school and you instantly think of Harry Potter. Yet this boarding school is a little more realistic in appearance, yet  it is filled with  some rather gruesome ghosts rather than magic. The ghosts within the story are pretty scary, so I wouldn't recommend for the younger children, but definitely an ideal book for the 11 to 12 year olds as long as they don't frighten to easily. Jon's friend, Ella was based on a real person who is really sassy and stands no nonsense from anyone. She was definitely my favourite character within the story. 
The author brings to life historical figures and I loved the way the plot centred around them, offering a little bit of history disguised in a thrilling tale. It made me desperate to explore Salisbury, especially Stonehenge and the Cathedral.  The UK is filled to the brim with ghost stories that need to be told, so I am so pleased to find one as wonderful as this.
The illustrations in the book are stunning and helped to bring the story alive. I really would like to see more 9 to 12 books with illustrations, even in older books, the odd picture would be nice. 
This is an ideal winter read for those cold, snowy nights - an  excellent Christmas present for the older spookily enchanted child. 

3 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this book before! This sounds like a great read. Great review :)

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

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  2. My sister loves Funke's work - I don't think she knows about this book.

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  3. Another author much loved by niece #2, I really must borrow some of her books.

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