Goblins on the Prowl

Goblins on the Prowl

Bruce Coville

Language: English

Publisher: Aladdin

Published: Jun 16, 2015

Words: 51290
Pages: 199

Description:

The stone toad is back! From the author of *Diary of a Mad Brownie*, this follow-up to the bestselling *Goblins in the Castle* blends laugh-out-loud humor with fantasy and edge-of-your-seat adventure. In the year since William and Fauna freed the goblins from imprisonment in Toad-in-a-Cage Castle, peace has reigned over both the human and goblin kingdoms. Then one cold night William receives a strange book from an unknown visitor, a book that leads him and Fauna to the mysterious stone toad that sits in the castle’s Great Hall. When an accidental spell brings the stone creature to life, the giant toad hops away—with William between its jaws! Fauna is no match for a ten-foot-tall frog made of rock, but she has magic—and a good amount of grit—on her side. Determined to save her friend, Fauna ventures forth on a journey through dangerous lands filled with fearsome giants, talking bears, and packs of rogue goblins. And in order to save William and reveal the mystery behind the stone toad, Fauna might have to divulge a secret that could turn her friends against her forever. ** ### From School Library Journal Gr 3–6—A sequel 23 years in the making! William, from 1992's Goblins in the Castle (Aladdin), is back, and is now revered as "The William," because he freed the goblins from an imprisonment spell. He and his friend, Fauna, a girl who lives alone in the woods to hide her own terrible secret, have been invited to a party at Toad-in-a-Cage Castle to celebrate the anniversary of this momentous event. Unfortunately, the stone toad, (for whom the aforementioned castle is named) turns out to have a spell on it, too. When the pair unwittingly releases the magical toad from the spell, it springs to life and captures William, taking him deep into the forest. An unlikely crew sets out to help Fauna save him, including a ghost, an Igor (no one is quite sure what he is), and Bwoonhiwda, the Queen's strong-arm with an unfortunate speech impediment. This wildly imaginative tale stands alone, but will likely send many new fans on the hunt for the first book. With a fast pace and so many fun characters, it absolutely begs to be read aloud in an upper elementary classroom. VERDICT Fauna is a heroine with heart; fantasy-adventure fans will be biting their nails and chuckling out loud with every twist and turn.—Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX ### Review In an inexcusably tardy sequel to Goblins in the Castle (1992), stakes escalate when old spells and new mischief collide, sending a giant stone toad bounding off with the previous episode's protagonist in its mouth.When a bit of incautious foolery with a book of spells leads to her friend William being carried away by the suddenly reanimated monument that gives Toad-in-a-Cage Castle its name, Fauna intrepidly hares off in pursuit. The chase takes her past diverting encounters with a particularly mercurial giant, an urbane troll, and others to the underground goblin city of Nilbog. She has the dubious help of a notably motley set of fellow rescuers, including an obnoxious ghost, the hunchbacked Igor (who clutches a weaponized teddy bear), and a brawny woman warrior with a speech impediment who introduces herself as "Bwoonhiwda." Coville expertly stirs together moments of terror with goblin farts ("Oh, stop fussing. The smell ain't gonna hurt you. At least, not much. You might lose a little skin, but it'll grow back") and like comical touches. He propels his tale to a climactic battle with a malign mage who threatens Nilbog's very existence and then ties up all the plotlines both new and old with a neat round of counterspells, revelations, and just deserts. A goblin salute (i.e., a finger up the nose) for this brisk and funny outing. (Kirkus Reviews March 1, 2015) A sequel 23 years in the making! William, from 1992’s *Goblins in the Castle* (Aladdin), is back, and is now revered as “The William,” because he freed the goblins from an imprisonment spell. He and his friend, Fauna, a girl who lives alone in the woods to hide her own terrible secret, have been invited to a party at Toad-in-a-Cage Castle to celebrate the anniversary of this momentous event. Unfortunately, the stone toad, (for whom the aforementioned castle is named) turns out to have a spell on it, too. When the pair unwittingly releases the magical toad from the spell, it springs to life and captures William, taking him deep into the forest. An unlikely crew sets out to help Fauna save him, including a ghost, an Igor (no one is quite sure what he is), and Bwoonhiwda, the Queen’s strong-arm with an unfortunate speech impediment. This wildly imaginative tale stands alone, but will likely send many new fans on the hunt for the first book. With a fast pace and so many fun characters, it absolutely begs to be read aloud in an upper elementary classroom. VERDICT Fauna is a heroine with heart; fantasy-adventure fans will be biting their nails and chuckling out loud with every twist and turn.*–Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX* (School Library Journal April 2015) More than 20 years after Coville introduced readers to the enchanted realm of Nilbog in Goblins in the Castle (1992), he returns with the story of Fauna, who lives in the forest near Toad-in-a-Cage castle and who has a big secret. When her cabin is invaded by goblins looking for a magical object, Fauna is thrust into a decades-old battle between good and evil that threatens the life of her friend William and sends her and a motley band of heroes on a wild adventure to save him. Coville's imagination runs brilliantly amok, with memorable characters like the lovable, speech-impeded Bwoonhiwda ("I just have a w pwobwem.... This has caused many pwobwems in my wife") and Bonecracker John ("With ears as big as mine, I can hear a cricket fart"). The pages are filled with lively and unpredictable escapades, wondrously magical settings, and heroes who, despite their otherworldly abilities, are flawed and relatable. If Coville plans to revisit Nilbog in the future, readers can only hope they don't have to wait another two decades. (Publishers Weekly April 20, 2015) Coville returns to Toad-in-a-Cage Castle in this giggle-worthy sequel to his 1992 novel *Goblins in the Castle*. Fauna is invited to the castle, where her friend William lives, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the day they freed the goblins from their magical prison. The party goes well until she and William accidentally free a creature they shouldn’t: the giant stone toad that gives the castle its name. Unbeknownst to them, the statue protected a powerful magic and imprisoned a wizard, and, with the spell broken, the stone toad takes off—with William in its mouth. As Fauna tracks William across the land and underground, she learns that the goblins are in trouble again, too. Coville’s adventure crackles with comic timing, mostly due to the quirky cast, like Bwoonhiwda, the warrior woman with a speech impediment, and Igor, the gentle giant who wields a teddy bear like a weapon. Though the story is more silly than suspenseful, the characters nonetheless end up confronting their fears and earning their happy resolution. (Booklist May 15, 2015)