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Books published by Bloomsbury


Stravaganza - City of Masks

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

16-year-old Ariana is drawn to the lagoon city of Bellezza in her world, while in ours Lucien, being treated for cancer, finds himself there, whole and well, when he sleeps.

Travel between parallel worlds with correspondingly dissimilar religion. Complex issues of life and death. Accepted pre-marital relations. Coping with fatal illness. Strained loyalty between two worlds.

Fantasy, Time-Travel

Stravaganza - City of Stars

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Fairly Positive

Georgia, taunted by her older step-brother, finds solace in horse-riding and the friendship of the owner of a curio shop where she buys a winged horse which transports her at night to the Talia of 400 years ago.

Some crude taunts about women and horse-riding. An unjustified suggestion that an older man is a sexual predator. Casual assumptions about annulment of marriage. Morally problematic subplot involving an apparent suicide. Contrast between Georgia's difficult family and Paolo's cheerful and large one. The Duke's true love for his family despite his machiavellian attitude.

Fantasy, Time-Travel

Larklight

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Art & Myrtle Mumby have to flee when their house, Larklight, is overrun by giant spiders.

Brilliantly imaginative; gently mocking Victorian ideals and sensibilities; quietly reconciling faith and science. Wild battles with gruesome spiders; questionable actions by a powerful being. Easy acceptance of other races and sexes. Undemonstrative love between family members and friends.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

Starcross

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Art, Myrtle and Mrs Mumby visit the new Starcross hotel on an asteroid near Mars only to discover that a more sinister scheme is afoot, involving mind-controlling top hats, a time-travelling ship from the American War of Independence, and a set of French Secret Agents.

Imaginative cybersteam adventure story. Slightly less pacy than the original. All manner of heroism, bravery, self-sacrifice, humour, and gentle romance.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

The Philosopher's Stone

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter is an eleven-year-old orphan living with his uncle and aunt Mr & Mrs Dursley and his cousin Dudley.

A school tale with magical embellishments; the friendship between the main characters.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Chamber of Secrets

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

At the start of the school term at Hogwarts, several people are attacked and turned to stone and Harry is suspected of being the heir of Slytherin, responsible for reopening the Chamber of Secrets in which a monster is known to dwell.

Entertaining schoolboy adventure with magic elements and some rulebreaking.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Prisoner of Azkaban

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The whole wizard world is on the alert after Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban, the wizard prison.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Goblet of Fire

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter enteres his 4th, eventuful, year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Order of the Phoenix

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

As his fifth year at Hogwarts fast approaches, Harry Potter the young wizard is certainly in adolescence, with mood swings and outbursts of rage.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The Half-Blood Prince

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Back at school now the Ministry has acknowledged Voldemort's return, Harry has to cope with Dumbledore's extra lessons for him, Ron's impetuous and public relationship with Lavender and Hermione's response, while preparing himself for the battle he knows must inevitably occur between himself and The Dark Lord.

Adventure, Friendship, Magic, School

The "Harry Potter" Series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter is orphaned at the age of one, his parents killed by the powerful dark wizard Lord Voldemort whose spell unaccountably rebounds off the baby Harry, leaving his attacker helpless and half-dead.

Appealing adventure stories set in a world where evil is gaining the upper hand. Some magical elements. Simple presentation of good and evil. Mostly virtuous leading characters, but some aspects are less praiseworthy. Mostly delicate relationships between the sexes. Established atmosphere of friendship and respect among the nonetheless realistic characters.

Adventure, Friendship, Growing-Up, Magic, School

Faerie Wars

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Pyrgus, Prince of the Purple Emperor of the Faeries, is accidentally transported to Mr Fogarty's house and must rely on Henry and Mr Fogarty to return him to the Faerie Realm.

Family separation because of a lesbian affair. Commonplace acceptance of family breakups. One disturbingly camp character. Brief unintended voyeurism.

Fantasy

Ruler of the Realm

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Henry is captured by aliens and then turns up in the Realm only to be part of a plot to capture Holly apparently with a view to mating with her while possessed by a demon.

Middling adventure story. Background of family breakup including a lesbian affair and a younger girlfriend. A few faintly disturbing descriptions. Loyalty and heroism among young characters.

Adventure, Fantasy

Warriors of Camlann

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Dan & Ursula have just escaped from Roman Britain and find themselves in Arthurian Britain a few centuries later.

Adventure, Arthurian, Historical, Magic, Time-Travel

The Falconer's Knot

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Chiara, sent to a convent without any feeling of a vocation, meets Silvano, seeking sanctuary in the nearby monastery when the two houses are asked to provide pigments for the painting in the Basilica in nearby Assisi.

Lightweight whodunnit. Positive and coherent portrayal of the religious life, vocations and love among young people.

Detective, Growing-Up, Historical, Romantic

Here Lies Arthur

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Gwyna, escaping from raiders, is rescued by Merlin from the river and in turn helps him to deceive the impressionable warriors into believing in a Lady of the Lake, guardian of a mystical sword she bequeathes to Arthur.

Revisionist take on the Arthurian canon, suggesting the truth behind the magical elements of the stories. Slightly disturbing questions of sexual identity. Marital coldness and subsequent infidelity. Some brutal deaths and a little earthiness & indelicacy.

Arthurian, Growing-Up, Historical

Holes

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Stanley Yelnats, sent to a harsh young offenders' camp in the desert when he is wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of shoes, finds his place among the other boys and offers to help one of them, nicknamed Zero, who is illiterate.

Quirky and feelgood story. Bearing misfortune optimistically. The benefits of helping others. Living in the shadow of a curse.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Humorous

The House of Windjammer

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Windjammer family business is ruined when their fleet of merchant ships is destroyed, leaving them at the mercy of the bankers and unable to fulfil their obligations to their employees.

Adventure, Historical

Jack Black and the Ship of Thieves

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Jack Black discovers a plot to wreck his father's airship but is swept overboard before he can warn anyone.

An unashamed Boy's Own Yarn. An enthusastic youngster turns hero when he discovers a plot to sabotage his father's airship and is must convince the unwilling captain and motley crew of a boat to help. There's a smarmy baddie, a dashing aviatrix, a capable female octogenarian castaway and a young boy dashing to his father's rescue.

Adventure, Boys

The Named

Style: Weak

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Ethan must train a new apprentice in a hurry before setting off to 13th-century Westminster to make sure that History follows its true path.

Fine, but nothing special; time travel and subsequent dilemmas

Fantasy, Time-Travel

Ruby Holler

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Sairy & Tiller, an elderly couple, foster Dallas & Florida and help them to appreciate that not everyone is an enemy.

A lightweight plot supported by interesting characters. The perils of an institutional upbringing vs the pleasures of a simple family home. Positive depiction of the possibilities still offered to and by an older generation.

Growing-Up

Witch Child

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Mary's grandmother is burnt as a witch in the mid 17th century.

Historical, Magic