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The Puzzle Ring Paperback – 1 Jun 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1 edition (1 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407102842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407102849
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 756,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

Her most recent book for adults is Bitter Greens, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale interwoven with the dramatic, true life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force.

Her most recent book for children is The Starkin Crown, a heroic fantasy adventure set in the magical world of Estelliana, a place of wild magic and terrifying monsters.

Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She's also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series - beginning with The Gypsy Crown - which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate's books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, A Mother's Offering to her Children. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, and many thousands of books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L on 6 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Wicked tight plotting, heaps of Scottish charm and a major helping of whimsy combine to make The Puzzle Ring a truly irresistible fantasy. It's a tale of faery, friendship and family with a plucky young heroine, a dark curse and a magic all of its own. This one's a winner!

As the title suggests, finding the four parts of the cursed ring is not going to be easy for Hannah. It's not just a matter of going back in time: the exact location of each piece is a puzzle in itself. Although she has some scribbled rhymes of her father's to guide her, they're riddles rather than directions - and it's up to her to solve them. Luckily for Hannah, she has an amazing supporting cast to help her out. There's Linnet, extremely long-serving housekeeper for the Rose family; Angus, their guide from the sixteenth century (with some gross manners to match); and Hannah's bandmates and new best friends Scarlett, Donovan and Max, who journey with her back in time to help her on her quest.

I adore time travel stories, and The Puzzle Ring gives us a beguiling blend of fantasy and historical elements. Kate Forsyth doesn't skimp on the finer details of life in Scotland in the 1560s, and the experiences of Hannah and her three friends will make any reader extremely grateful for their warm beds, antibacterial gel and (especially!) modern plumbing. Their journey brings the story of Mary, Queen of Scots to life in a way that no history textbook could ever do. It's a dangerous, superstitious time where ruthless Queens would murder their own cousin to keep their crown, and a left-handed teenager just might be burned as a witch. It's also the perfect time for a faery curse to be laid upon Hannah's ancestors... and for her to break it.

The Puzzle Ring is a beauty of a book.
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By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
The best thing about blogging is having the opportunity to find and read new books I otherwise wouldn't have known about. I can't believe this book has been out there for so long, and I'd never even heard of it! It's a magical fantasy that travels through time, and is exactly the kind of story I love to lose myself in.

I loved all the mythology and history included in Hannah's adventure, especially when it concerned Mary, Queen of Scots. To mix the Queen's life with Scottish faerie lore was just brilliant, and it made for an edge-of-your-seat read. I'm a fan of time travel anyway, though I had no idea it was part of The Puzzle Ring. I also didn't realise it was a book about fairies and magic, so I had a great surprise when I finally cottoned on.

Kate Forsyth's characters are well-rounded and easy to like, and each has little quirks that set them apart from one other. Linnet is my favourite, but to say why would give more away than I should, so I'll just say that she's a charming old lady with a lot of useful knowledge. Hannah herself is also a fantastic character, with more intelligence and quick-thinking than I'm sure I had when I was thirteen. Of course, I was never pitted against the fair folk, so I've never needed to speak in rhyme or decode cryptic clues. It's just as well really, as I don't think I would have been half as good as Hannah!

The Puzzle Ring takes you on a journey from Australia to modern day Scotland, and all the way back to 1567. It's an exciting story of magic and danger, and I loved every minute of it. Fans of Michelle Harrison's 13 Treasures will find this a must-read, as it's full of mystical creatures, family curses and lavish landscapes. What more could you want?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just re-read Kate Forsyth`s book The Puzzle Ring for the second time. The one-liner on the front cover sums up the story well: A past full of secrets and a future full of magic. A strange letter from a relative in Scotland awakens thirteen-year-old Hannah Rose Brown to the fact that she knows nothing of her long-lost father's family. Therein lie the secrets and the promise of magic. Despite the fact that I already knew the plot and I was reading the book more to study the language, I was quickly embarked in the delights of an enchanting fairy story only to find myself at the last page as if by magic. Unlike some of the clumsier attempts I have read recently, no names mentioned, Kate Forsyth really knows how to tell a story. Hers is a solider, more classical way of writing but it has none of the painful weaknesses of some would-be authors' attempts that try to wrap their shortcomings in a veil of supposed literary audaciousness. If you enjoy tales of resourceful children that mix modern life and the magic of the fairy world then I can highly recommend this book to you. And if you prefer slightly more (young) adult tales then I recommend Kate Forsyth's saga of The Witches of Eileanan.

Review first published on Secret Paths:
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Bookette on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Puzzle Ring is written in the vein of great traditional fantasies. In the information that came with the book, it was likened to the Chronicles of Narnia and I certainly think it has that daring magical adventure feel to it. Hannah is living in Australia with her mum Roz when a mysterious letter arrives addressed to the Countess of Wintersloe. Roz soon admits that back in Scotland Hannah would in fact have the title of Lady. Her father was a Lord but he disappeared the night after her birth. Hannah begs her mum to take her back to Scotland. She is excited by the possibility of a big adventure. And thus our story begins as we return with Hannah to the land of her father and journey into the mystery of The Puzzle Ring.

I wish I had read this book back when I was ten years old. I think I would have read it again and again. Hannah is a great heroine who is determined to break the family curse. The story is brimming over with tradtional tales of Celtic mythology, of fireside stories and magical dreams. I most certainly would love (even now) to suddenly discover I am actually a Scottish Lady and am the heir to a castle or grand house. I spent most of my childhood dreaming of magical adventures like this. Many characters in this story had a great appeal. Donovan for his rebellious streak and love of nature and wildlife. Angus for his sixteenth century ways. Linnet for her courage. Roz for reminding me of my sister and her love of all things science. There is a character for everyone in this book.

The scenes that take place in the time of Mary Queen of Scots were thoroughly entertaining and this is where Max became a comic genius for me. I kept laughing out loud at his gruesome facts.
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