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Dido And Pa (The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase Sequence) [Paperback]

Joan Aiken
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Mar 2004 The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase Sequence (Book 7)

Dido Twite is waylaid by her father, the shady Abednego Twite, acting on instructions from his evil patron. Why is Dido so urgently needed in Wapping? Why are King Richard's friends all accidentally drowning in the Thames? How does hard-drinking Mrs Lily Bloodvessel figure in this intricate plot, with her cellar full of sleeping guttersnipes?

Another rollercoasting story by Joan Aiken, in which Dido's scheming Pa finally receives his comeuppance.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Red Fox; New Ed edition (4 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099456664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099456667
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joan Aiken is one of the best loved authors of the twentieth century, and has written over a hundred books for young readers and adults.

NOW! follow news about Joan's books at https://www.facebook.com/JoanAikenOfficial
and read excerpts, stories and more on the blog at http://joanaiken.wordpress.com/

"THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE" is celebrating its 50th Anniversary - Look out for the illustrated hardback and a new Vintage Classics paperback. Hailed as "One Genuine Small Masterpiece" by Time magazine when it first came out, the book is still appearing in new translations all over the world - now in Chinese!

Coming in MAY - new editions of one of Joan's most thrilling adventure series - The Felix Trilogy - Go Saddle the Sea, Bridle the Wind & The Teeth of The Gale

Visit "The Wonderful World of Joan Aiken" at www.joanaiken.com for Joan's life story;
You can also see a film of her talking about The Wolves Chronicles, details of all her books and a full Bibliography

Product Description


"Joan Aiken is a marvel" (Philip Pullman Guardian)

"A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination" (Oxford Companion to Children's Literature)

"Rumbustious . . . The reader is entranced by Joan Aiken's language and imagination, grotesque characters, picturesque settings and hilarity" (Writeaway.org.uk)

Book Description

One of the classic `Willoughby Chase' series originally published in 1986 and now re-issued with a stunning new cover

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great in the James III series 12 July 2001
By A Customer
Dido Twite's quest to find Simon again has finally led her back to London, where the ever-present conspiracy against the king of England is taking a new twist. Kidnapped by her own father to help assasinate him, Dido is led into the intrigue in this beatifully written, exciting, pacey book. I particularly liked the Birthday Club.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the series! 15 Sep 2008
A gritty and sinister adventure story, perhaps the peak of the Aiken series, the book starts by joining a few loose ends from the other books.
Simon, now fully instated as Duke of Battersea, and staunch supporter of the incumbent King Richard, discovers his childhood friend Dido near the isolated village of Petworth, but before he can bring her back to his castle, Mr Twite makes a reappearance, and kidnaps his daughter, bringing her to a seedy area of London, where his benefactor, the truly evil Margrave of Nordmarck has plans to unseat good King Richard, killing off all his close friends and replacing him with and impersonator. A foreign man, chosen because of likeness to the king, who Dido is teaching English. The resourceful and loveable Dido manages to break free and with the help of the mystery shrouded Birthday League, defeat the schemes of the Margrave and her Father. This is one of Joan Aiken's best and darkest books, reintroducing most of her best heroes and villains. Mr Twite is a masterpiece, and even when he is devoured by wolves, we are confused as to rejoice or mourn. Dido once again pulls off her role of the plucky, savvy street child in this extraordinary tale. Recommended ages 6 to wherever!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dido Twite: Role model 18 Aug 2004
By Rebecca Crawford - Published on Amazon.com
I read these books when I was much younger, and re-read them every time I come back to my parents' house. They are incredibly well written; characters, plot, and dialogue are all wonderfully done.

Dido is possibly one of the best female children's characters ever written, and I'd even argue that she's one of the best female characters ever, forget children's books. She is resourceful, irreverent, intelligent, moral, funny, and completely unsanitized. I love all of the books in this series, but this one is my favorite.

The only reason that these could be called "children's" books is that there's no sex. They absolutely do not underestimate the intelligence of the reader. Joan Aiken writes young adult novels in the style of Susan Cooper and Lloyd Alexander -- these books are terrifying, beautiful, chilling, funny and intelligent in a way that children's books no longer are and *should* be. Joan Aiken will be sorely missed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dido strikes again 28 July 2003
By "stardust86490" - Published on Amazon.com
This is a lovely adventurous book that will suck you right into the story. I must say however that after the Auther finished writing the other books in the series I think she sort of ran out of ideas. This book brings back Dido Twite the heroine from three of the previous books. She is back in England and meets up with her infamous father once with him she stumbles on a hanoravian plot(again!) that is trying to dispose of the King. Held prisoner by her father and the other hanoravians Dido must find a way to escape and save the day. Helped along by some old friends and a host of new charecters you can be sure Dido will, through wit and daring once again becomes Englands youngest hero. I gave this book four stars because it is a very exciting and enjoyable read. Even more so if you have not read the others in the series that star Dido. For those of you that have well all I can say is read this book fully expecting a similiar plot to several of the others and enjoy it for its interesting new charecters and to be able to reconnect with some of the interesting old ones.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Aiken is a genius 14 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Firstly, a previous reader was incorrect in stating that Is was Penelope's daughter; she is, in fact, Penny and Dido's half-sister, their father's child by another woman.
I also disagree with that reviewer's assertion that Dido and Pa was formulaic and stale; it is, in fact, my favorite novel in the series of nine, and, tragically, the only one out of print. Dido *finally* reunites with Simon, older, wiser, and worldly. The two are very happy to be together again at last, although their joyous reunion, in typical Aiken fashion, does not last long.
Aiken's plots are water-tight and well-developed, interesting, lively, and full of skilled foreshadowing. If this is a formula, oh that it were one all writers followed!
I'm hoping beyond hope that Ms. Aiken will resolve Simon and Dido's fate in a new novel-she focuses on every character except my two favorites!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dido in her element 13 Oct 2004
By Chrijeff - Published on Amazon.com
At long last Dido Twite is back in London, though perhaps not as she anticipated she'd be. Unexpectedly reunited (much to her delight) with her old friend Simon, now the Sixth Duke of Battersea, she has been spirited away from him by her rascally father Abednego, who with most of his family killed in the destruction of Battersea Castle has become Music Master to the Hanoverian Ambassador. The position is not unearned--for all his bad qualities, Mr. Twite is a brilliant composer and a performer of note on the hoboy, whose music often brightened Dido's younger days even though he always favored her much older sister Penny. But, quite naturally, the Ambassador is also a pivotal player in the ongoing Hanoverian plots against the Stuart throne, so Mr. Twite's politics mesh nicely with his employer's. Unfortunately for them both, "Bonnie Prince Georgie" (the King George IV of our universe) has recently died without issue, so what's a Hanoverian plotter to do? The answer's plain: find a way to become the power behind the throne. And this the Ambassador has done, with a Dutch double for King Richard IV. With the help of a network of street urchins and a young artist who is in love with Simon's sister Sophie, Dido contrives once again to foil the plot, though not without a few near escapes, and in the process is reunited with Penny and with what seems to be a younger half-sister, the oddly-named Is. She is also overlooked by a blind apple seller who has a gift of foreseeing and declares that he "can see crossed sparkling lines over her head, and a whole shower of lucky stars...a gold crown in her hand...and a velvet carpet under her foot." Take good care of her, he warns Mr. Twite, or the luck will turn for you...

The high point of this installment in the Wolves Chronicles is the quirky relationship between Dido and her father, which is portrayed in a rich series of vignettes between them, cunningly spotted along the course of the tale to provide breaks in the otherwise headlong action. Aiken also shows her usual Dickensian gift in her portrayal of London street life and her creation of villains you love to hate--though Mr. Twite has his sympathetic moments. As the book closes, he has met the fate the apple-seller warned him of, Sophie and her gallant have come to an understanding, and Simon shyly suggests that perhaps Dido will "think about being Duchess of Battersea one day." A satisfying conclusion to Dido's extended globe-trotting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 25 Aug 2013
By Douglas J. Bassett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read only a bit of Joan Aiken's work, but I think she was a genius. Her series of children's books beginning with THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE - at least the ones I've read - range from "pretty good" to "absolute classic".

This is the best of what I've read in the series, although I haven't read them all. Early books relied a bit overmuch, I think, on parodying classic literature (although they're all quite decent, don't get me wrong, and a couple, THE CUCKOO TREE and THE STOLEN LAKE, are excellent) but DIDO seems to be pretty much its own thing. For those who know the series, this feels like the culmination of the Dido Thwaite story, as she returns to England, stops yet another plot on the King's life, and brings her difficult relationship with her father to a kind of conclusion. (Indeed, I wonder if this was not a personal story for Aiken, as despite all the fantastic goings-on the central concern of the book does seem to be Dido's relationship with her father. Aiken explores the notion of how a great artist can be a terrible human being - Aiken's own father was a fairly famous poet, I have no idea if he was a terrible human being but the similarity in situation seems pretty stark.)

All that makes it sound more dreary than it really is. Actually DIDO AND PA is a wonderfully lively book, complete with plots and counterplots, conspiracies both evil and good, a genuinely charming love affair (actually sort of a couple), some action, and some genuinely weird moments here and there - even a touch of the supernatural that grows as the story reaches its conclusion. Aiken, as I said, was a genius, she had a gift for a very quiet absurdist kind of humor and almost complete tonal control that was really masterful - this is one of the few books I know of where transitions from humor to horror to pathos are completely plausible.

These are marvelous books, highly recommended.
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