I have been writing since I was about 8 years old. The evidence is a small booklet found in my mother’s box of treasures, written in a very childish hand, entitled The Little Stream. I've been creating articles and event reports for newsletters and magazines ever since, often with a slightly fictional theme, but early attempts at novels failed for want of suitable inspiration: characters and plot were sadly missing! I had a career in business and in environmental research that kept me gainfully employed but chained to a desk for many years. But I kept writing: manuals, reports, science papers, blogs, journals, anything and everything that kept the words flowing. Finally the characters jumped into my head with stories that needed to be told.
I now live in a village in Norfolk with my guinea pigs, the first of whom, Fred, George, Victor and Hugo, provided the inspiration for my first stories, The Princelings of the East. I'm now writing science fiction for grown-ups as well as completing the Princelings series and writing more stories for the BookElves.
on Oct. 15, 2015 :
Castle Marsh, an extremely isolated guinea pig castle, is experiencing a strange energy drain. When it ruins the King's birthday feast, the Princeling twins, Fred the Philosopher and George the Engineer, decide that they must do something about it.
The mysterious tunnel that appears in response to Fred's spoken request for a secret passage is only the first surprise in their adventure. As they continue on their quest for answers, they meet the Hugo, a travelling salesman; Victor, a harried barkeeper; as well as Prince Lupin and Lady Nimrod, who provide much wisdom and help. They also discover new drinks (other than strawberry juice), find a time tunnel and visit new castles.
As stated in the blurb, The Princelings of the East is intended for children ages 8 and up, so I wasn't too sure if I would like it. I generally enjoy childrens' books, but have been finding some of them a little too bland lately. This book isn't, though. Pett has a nice blend of wit and wisdom, as well as a very engaging writing style - not overly simplified, as if talking down to children, but simple, clean and crisp, so that you're attracted to it, no matter how young or old you are.
Actually, after reading the trilogy and now flipping through this book again as I write this review, I notice there are subtle hints and clues to things that will happen in the rest of the trilogy - things that I didn't pick up until now.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 22, 2012 :
This was an entertaining and quick read. The characters were easy to like, and as an animal lover I adored the fact that they were based on Pett's guinea pigs. George and Fred are inquisitive at heart and it's their curious nature that makes them excellent main characters; but Victor, the barkeeper, quickly became my favorite.
It was easy for me to settle into Pett's writing style; it's been a while since I've read anything by Anne McCaffrey or J.R.R. Tolkien, and Pett's writing is a welcomed reminder of how that style of writing can really add to a good plot-line. I have to say that I was impressed with the novel overall. Although it is for older children, it's still written in a way that will appeal to many adults.
The story itself starts off rather quickly, so it's important for readers to pay attention to the details; but the story wasn't so fast paced that I couldn't keep up.
Pett is the author and also illustrates each chapter. Definite bonus points there. The illustrations help to give the book a sort of whimsical feel that adds to the overall fun and adventurous element of the story.
The story wasn't extremely action packed but more of a mystery. Some parts were a little slower than others but in the end everything ties together nicely--including a side plot involving Victor.
By the end, George and Fred are convinced that they will go back to their boring, mundane routine after the adventure that they had at Castle Hattan. I have a feeling that that couldn't be further from the truth.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Feb. 02, 2012 :
A fantastic adventure tale with endearing (and extremely clever!) characters. Lovely language choices carry the reader away to the wonderful world Fred and George inhabit. Perfect for guinea pig lovers and able readers 10+ , although very much enjoyed by this 30 something mum!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)