I was reading through and discovered I had never really talked about the first book, The Princelings of the East, in the blog itself. And since I’ve signed up for the KidsLit Blog Hop, I thought this would be a good place to start. The Princelings of the East is the first of three stories about Princelings Fred and George, who live in a castle in the east of what appears to be a place quite like England, Castle Marsh. It’s an isolated place, and the brothers (they are twins) don’t really know much about the outside world. Very few people visit, and they don’t even receive newspapers. In fact Fred and George have to be told what newspapers are.
As in all good stories, there is a problem to be solved, and our heroes set out to solve it. The Great Energy Drain may not sound like the most exciting problem in the world, but it is causing problems for the people of this world, and the King of Marsh is not at all happy. Fred and George display some of their own talents in leaving the castle, since Fred has a fairly common skill in this world of asking for something and the castle itself providing the solution. In this case it’s a tunnel that connects them to a hitherto unknown network of tunnels, and the pair of them set off to explore the world outside.
At this stage I should probably explain that these stories were inspired by my guinea pigs, Fred and George, and Hugo and Victor as well, and so the whole of this world is inhabited and organised by guinea pigs. There are no humans in it. It’s not cute guinea pigs interacting with humans like G-Force. Think more of Fantastic Mr Fox.
So Fred and George set off on their journey, get separated, meet other characters, some of whom help, some hinder (and some do both). Victor turns up as the barkeeper at the inn, although he’s running it because his father has disappeared when he went to find out what was causing the Great Energy Drain, so it’s a dangerous mission. Hugo turns up as well… Fred meets Hugo in the tunnel, but Hugo is not quite what he seems. George takes a wrong turning in the tunnel and ends up in a place rather like New York of today, in Castle Hattan, where the person running things is Lord Mariusz. Strangely, he looks exactly like Hugo, although George doesn’t know that. You, dear reader, quickly realise what’s going on, but it takes our heroes a little longer.
By the end of the story, Fred and George are invited to stay with the friends they’ve made during this adventure, in a place that is pretty much the centre of science and culture in this world. And their next two adventures both start from that place, Castle Buckmore, and involve brushes with pirates and the discovery of a lost city in a forest, but that’s for later.
If you’d like to read the book on an ereader you can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore and other places listed here. And you can also get it in paperback in one volume with the other three books from Amazon or my eStore. I hope you enjoy it!