Read this to my 11 year old son and he really enjoyed it so it must be good. Personally found it a little derivative, using the plot from The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (an ice queen stops the forest growing and its cold, but some talking animals help 3 children, who enter a magical forest through a tree, to defeat her, and the hero makes the ultimate sacrifice which saves the day) with bits of Lord of the Rings (a wandering prince recovers his crown, has a magic ring, defeats evil in battle and comes back Gandalf like from the dead after falling into a deep pit in combat with the evil enemy). The original bits like the animal names (Stiggle, Trotter and Fumble??) aren't great, but hey, it licked along and was well paced, and we read to the end. Might try the sequel.